Sunday, April 3, 2016

The Kremlin's Pre-Emptive Denial Of The Putin Corruption Detailed In The Panama Papers

The weekend's news of the information treasure trove stolen from Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca and leaked through Germany's Süddeutsche Zeitung, the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project and the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists was anticipated by at least one group of principals.

From The Fiscal Times, March 28, 2016:

Putin Plays Defense in Advance of Corruption Report 
The Kremlin on Monday took the unusual step of issuing a sort of “pre-buttal” in advance of the publication of an international group of investigative journalists’ report on the personal finances of Russian President Vladimir Putin, his family, and close friends.

Putin spokesperson Dimitry Peskov said the Kremlin has received a set of questions from reporters leading the Putin administration to believe that “another media falsehood disguised as a sample of objectivity is due within days.”

According to state-run media outlet TASS, Peskov said, “We have received some very honey-worded queries looking like a questionnaire from an organization calling itself International Consortium of Investigative Journalists.” He added that the subject would be “some project for highlighting organized crime and corruption, allegations about Putin’s connections with business people, the granting of state contracts to businessmen and businessmen’s enrichment with Putin’s help.”
However, rather than addressing the contents of the expected story, Peskov instead waved them off, claiming that all questions about corruption in the Putin administration have been asked and answered over the years and attempted to discredit the source.

Alleging the participation of foreign governments in the project, Peskov said, “With various unseemly tricks they are trying to discredit the leadership of our country, in the first place, President Putin. The task is to mount a media attack, to stage it, cook a falsehood and embed it in the media agenda.”

However, the organization that Peskov said is behind the report is not a group he and Putin will be able to dismiss easily. The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists is a project of the Pulitzer Prize-winning Washington-based Center for Public Integrity....MORE