Sensational interview of Alexey Golubovich. He quitted the job after attempted murder on his wife. 'Any article directed against Yukos was removed, for money…’ The website Prigovor.ru reminds us of what happened on August 7, 2006.
On this day 15 years ago, on August 7, 2006, the newspaper ‘Izvestiya’ published the final part of the conversation of the journalist Mikhail Leontyev with Alexey Golubovich, former head of the strategic planning and corporate finances director of the Oil Company Yukos. From this voluminous interview, the public got to know astonishing details of the ‘corporative culture’ as well as backstage secrets of the very ‘transparent’ oil imperium of Mikhail Khodorkovsky.
The newspaper ‘Izvestiya’ explained why Alexey Golubovich started to talk. ‘He oversaw the acquisition of other companies, relations with shareholders, placement of shares Yukos. He quitted after attempted murder on Olga Mirimskaya, his wife and head of the company ‘Russian Product’. He suspected that the attempted murder was organized by the security service of Yukos.
(Read in Russian the interview: «Дело Юкоса глазами его топ-менеджера.Часть 1. «Чем хуже приходится Ходорковскому, тем лучше Невзлину»)
Дело Юкоса глазами его топ-менеджера. Часть 2. «Кто не спрятался - я не виноват»)
‘During one year there were five or six episodes of surveillance’
'In Yukos, there was always one problem in its corporative culture – great influence of the Security service which, perhaps, didn’t try to manage all directions of business – perhaps, Khodorkovsky didn’t allow that – but did try to make people dependent. They collected dossiers on all employees. Supposedly, on Khodorkovsky himself. It is normal in a big company to have a security service, but there should be certain frameworks… During one year five or six episodes of surveillance, the collection of incriminating evidence is going on. Allegedly, after that it becomes known to Nevzlin, management of the Security service, but they say: ‘You should help your comrade.’ It means that the criminal case turned up as if from nowhere and then with a wade of the wand broke up…’
‘Alexey Pichugin carried out quite different functions’
The Security service of the Oil Company Yukos was subordinated to Nevzlin who was always the second person in the group ‘Menatep’ as well as in Yukos. And even if he didn’t work there de jure, he ‘oversaw’ the Security service and judicial department. They accounted to him. He dealt with public relations as well. And, accordingly, he had the right to administer all expenditure items of the Yukos budget which were not related to the production. On public relations, on security. And it is millions of dollars each year. Only managers of the Security service knew who was responsible and for what, documents on this theme were secret, as if we work in the Central Intelligence Agency. It was possible to read them only when somebody was holding them in his arms.
Formally, this service was headed by Mikhail Shestopalov, one of the directors of the Department Against Misappropriation of Socialist Property (OBKHSS) during the Soviet time. All the Service was constructed as a commercial version of OBKHSS with a very big business component. That's why, apart from the ‘perimeter defense’ and ‘struggle against smugglers of the production sited,’ it dealt with collecting information on employees, on competitors, and on everybody in the world.
And it dealt with commercial operations as well. For instance, the bank ‘Menatep’ went bankrupt – the debtors are transmitted to them, and especially for that purpose, a structure was created which for commission brings money back. Even the common budget of it was impossible to receive. Alexey Pichugin was one of the superiors of this service and, apparently, performed quite different functions – from working procedures to security. At the same time, employees became various documents from which followed: you must fulfill Pichugin requirements related to requests to obtain information…’
‘Either he didn't pay taxes, or stole 300 million'
Shares of the company were distributed among the employees in a very peculiar way.
'All this was formalized as a purchase by each of the employees a small share of an offshore company and money was transferred through a representative of the Central Bank to an account in Switzerland. So simple – one screech of the pen worth several thousand dollars and you become a co-owner of the huge structure with the enormous property. I was then struck as it was all simple and matter-of-factly, nobody in the Central Bank, in my opinion, didn’t put any questions. But nobody saw these shares ‘alive’, and I didn’t saw the shares of the Bank ‘Menatep' that belonged to me.
But, evidently, the way they were distributed didn’t suit all. I think that it didn’t suit Nevzlin. Because later, on the eve of the public announcement in the press about the owners of the Bank ‘Menatep’ and the main proprietors of Yukos my name disappeared from the list. This was preceded by a cleverly planned by someone campaign in the press and it was reported that I whether in Switzerland or in France had traded with shares, or hadn’t paid taxes, or had stolen 300 million or even 300 billion, and now in all courts, we became confirmation that all this is a lie. But at that moment it was also kind of scoop.'
Perhaps, Alexey Golubovich had in mind the story connected with Elena Collongues and her announcement in the French press.
(See also: ‘How several kilograms of the Yukos offshore documents were handed over from Paris to Moscow’. The most ‘transparent’ company of Mikhail Khodorkovsky secretly 'siphoned' money to offshore companies).
We note that before the imprisonment of Mikhail Khodorkovsky this theme emerged in the press in August 2003, but, strangely enough, it didn't attract attention and was not developed. But after the imprisonment of Khodorkovsky, the story about the offshores literally 'blew up' the press. For this anomaly some explanation was found – the mouth of the Russian press was busy chewing over the advertising money of Yukos.
‘It was made in order to decrease the number of bidders to control the money of Khodorkovsky abroad’
According to Alexey Golubovich, the initiator of the French buzz was… Yukos, which, as a matter of fact, contracted its own killing. ‘These were the same lawyers of the firm which served Yukos in Switzerland and the journalists which published these articles, and the main part of the funding they became from the press service of Yukos.
But Yukos, in order to get rid of all the unwanted, in substance, contracted its own killing and made it in two phases. First, apparently, Khodorkovsky didn’t know anything, and it was necessary to convince him to throw me out of the list of the shareholders. And he did it partially – he reduced my share and, as the result, I didn’t make it to the number of the published co-owners. And then, in 2003, after the arrest of Khodorkovsky, in the press once again appeared stories according to which I together with him and with Lebedev, while being abroad, whether laundered money or didn’t pay taxes. I think this was made in order to drown a bit Khodorkovsky, or simply to reduce the number of the potential contenders wanting to control Khodorkovsky's money abroad. Because there was still a lot of money.'
According to Golubovich, Leonid Borisovich Nevzlin was mixed up in it, and the reason was simple – the more difficult the situation got for Khodorkovsky, who was already in jail, the easier it was for Nenzlin to present himself as a ‘victim of the regime.’
There is one more issue exposed by Alexey Golubovich – the problem of the personal security of the employees of the corporation. The formula was simple – 'the stubborn were blown up or poisoned.’ And when he became complaints about the activities of the Security service, he acted, in general, as the king from a fairy tale – ‘I don’t want bad news.’ Such complaints, evidently, were kind of tooth pain for him.’
‘Just in case…’
‘In May 2003, I believe, I was struck by one phrase of Khodorkovsky – we are now distributing assets of the Gibraltar affiliate of ‘Menatep’ in some trusts, and so we, in particular, created a trust, where. At first, there will be 20 million dollars – now there are, I think, already 500 million dollars – for financing education. So that students from Russia have a possibility to study in the esteemed British universities. I haven’t heard of any student that studied there using the mentioned money. But at that time it was the first handsome gesture of that kind, and somebody asked: ‘So we directly give 20 million dollars to students as a present? ‘No, do not give them 20 million, we give them interests from this money. Without us it is, so to say, impossible to use them. So let them be there, for a rainy day, just in case. For instance, ‘Menatep' would be recognized as a criminal organization not only in Russia, but in the whole world, and in such a case it would be possible to get this money to pay for lawyers, to settle juridical bills.’
‘Jukos withdrew publications for money’
‘Any story in the press, directed against Yukos, was withdrawn, for money or using other means – the system provided not only publication of advantageous pieces but also prevented publication of anything what, so to say, ‘brushed against’ Yukos. It means, if, all of a sudden, about some employee of the company a negative story was published, it was simply a signal that a decision was made to throw him out, to get rid of him. I myself became a couple of times a first-hand knowledge of that,’ – cites the web-side Prigovor.ru the interview of Alexey Golubovich, published in the newspaper ‘Izvestiya.’
(See also the previous article ‘Pichugin organized at the direction of Nevzlin murders of 5 persons and attempted murders on 7 persons; In Moscow, a life-long sentence was passed on Alexey Pichugin. The father of Mikhail Khodorkovsky was summoned for questioning with regard to the murder of the mayor of Nefteyugansk. The website Prigovor.ru reminds of what happened on August 6, 2007, and 2015.