On this day, in the House of Representatives of the United States Congress began hearings with the loud title "Money Laundering in Russia". The website Prigovor.ru reminds its readers of what happened on September 21, 1999.
On this day 24 years ago, on September 21, 1999, Khodorkovsky was eagerly awaited in the United States. There, in the Banking and Finance Services Committee of the House of Representatives of the United States Congress, began the hearings with the loud title “Russian money laundering”, where American curators of “young democracies” in the course of several days retold each other newspaper articles about the laundering of Russian money through American private banks. In the limelight, among others, of course, one name was mentioned – Mikhail Khodorkovsky, the head of the fallen bank “Menatep”.
“Khodorkovsky is considered so central to the investigation that the House Banking Committee asked him to testify at hearings it will hold next week into alleged Russian money laundering. Sources say, that Khodorkovsky first accepted the invitation, but then changed his mind and will not appear”, informed the American newspaper “The Washington Post” in its article entitles “Riggs Had Ties to Firms in Probe”.
Khodorkovsky, an avid fan of “the dialogue with the Western community”, did not turn up there. The Russian newspaper “Kommersant”, having not appreciated the verve of the American media outlet, brought the most sweeping paragraphs of the article of "The Washington Post", in which its author comes to the conclusion that "Khodorkovsky is summoned to the United States almost as in the capacity of the main defendant".
In fact, the invitation to the hearings which was sent to Khodorkovsky under the signature of Jim Leach, the head of the House Committee on Banking and Finance Services, was quite polite.
"By this letter, I invite you to take part in the hearings in the capacity of a witness. As you are one of the main Russian businessmen and you have several times decisively expressed your opinion on problems of corruption in Russia, your opinion would be useful for the Committee in its activity relating to supervision and implementation of legislative functions in this area”.
However, Khodorkovsky, evidently, understood that he could not get back to Moscow – the Americans wanted very much to bring to responsibility some Russians of the “Russian mafia” for money laundering. And to go for talks with American officials and politicians which Yukos has not yet bought – it was a risky matter from the point of view of the dubiously enriched dealer. He found a plausible excuse for the refusal of the “slippery” theme and said that he “would like to get acquainted in details with the agenda and participants of the hearings”.
Actually, had he come there at the polite invitation of the Americans, it would have been very hard for him. He would have had to answer questions about the offshore “European Union Bank” (Antigua) in the name of which, as the investigation has found out, Khodorkovsky provided phony guaranties. Apart from that, he would have had to answer questions about the dingy scheme of privatization of Yukos, and in presence of the foreign reporters at that who have already written tons of accusations with regards to “robbers enriched on bandit privatization”, notes the website Prigovor.ru.
(See also the previous article “On this day, the European Court of Human rights didn't recognize Khodorkovsky's case as"political". "The European Court of Human Rights has completely rejected the accusations towards Russia concerning the political motivations, and repressive character of the prosecution of the company Yukos. The website Prigovor.ru reminds its readers of what happened on September 20, 2011.