Craig Murray in Cotton Corruption Scandal 377


Criminal accusations of corruption have been made against Craig Murray:


he lobbied so-called businessmen including those from Pakistan willing to get cotton and other state contracts, those people had contacts with different Uzbek clan representatives including Bekzod Akhmedov. Akhmedov was seen many times in Craig Murray and his pseudo businessmen’s company in dens of iniquity of the capital, Bekzod Akhmedov’s favorite venues.

The allegations must be taken extremely seriously because they come from an Ambassador to the United Nations in Geneva. The lady in question is of course Gulnara Karimova, daughter of the President of Uzbekistan. As is her usual method, she gave an interview to a glossy magazine journalist in Switzerland not given to probing questioning. Even this publication baulked at publishing these extraordinary statements, so she gave the full works on her blog:

For example yesterday in Geneva, on the first day of spring, we had another “support team” visiting us, those who are always ready to work off their payments while not having anything else to do, any other interests, hobbies or a properly paid job. A group of a few people including a cameraman, a lady of Uzbek origin Mutabar Tadjibaeva, who introduces herself as a president of the «Club des Coeurs Ardents» and guess who else? Exactly! Craig Murray – ex-ambassador to Uzbekistan, who had been scandalously fired from the British Foreign Office. He lived in Tashkent for a long time and had a relationship and even got married to a strip-bar dancer, he lobbied so-called businessmen including those from Pakistan willing to get cotton and other state contracts, those people had contacts with different Uzbek clan representatives including Bekzod Akhmedov. Akhmedov was seen many times in Craig Murray and his pseudo businessmen’s company in dens of iniquity of the capital, Bekzod Akhmedov’s favorite venues. It seems like the group of people that visited us in Geneva wanted to congratulate us with spring and express their grievance by screaming and as they said they wanted me or my sister Lola to come out. They attempted to sneak inside and walk around the house recording it all on video and we had nothing to do, but call the police and make our own video of this March invasion of “human right defenders” as they call themselves.

It is obvious, that those people mentioned above, a group of bloggers and professional PR firm such as R&R were not catalyzed accidentally. The core of the artificially initiated scandal is lost, constant threats, that someone will say something, someone like Bekzod Akhmeodv who is wanted by Interpol due to his relation to the investigation of MTS activities in Uzbekistan, who from the beginning was under the MTS-Russia protection and requested on January, 9 2013 refugee status with his big family. Also threats came for last three months from lawyers who were stating that they will have newspapers like Financial Times publish all they have, all that Bekzod Akhmedov could compose over almost a year which was accepted with pleasure by MTS lobbyists. Where else could you see such involvement at official level and could this be possible without high-reaching goals, even if it is done in such a straight way?

I might as well state for the record that to my knowledge I have never met or had any contact with Mr Bekzod Akhmedov, I have certainly never been in his social company, let alone on a “den of inquity” (though that does sound fun). I have never met any Pakistani businessmen in or to discuss Uzbekistan and I have never sought any role for myself in trading Uzbek cotton.

I certainly did visit Gulnara’s US $25 million mansion in Geneva, because I wanted to see where the proceeds of forced child labour in the Uzbek cotton fields went. I intend to do so again. I hope lots of people will – its at No. 7, Rue Prevote, Cologny, Geneva.

Gulnara’s peculiar attack on me for the “crime” of looking at her house appears a rather desperate reaction to increasing knowledge of her activities. The Chief Executive of Telesonera, Sweden’s largest telecommunications firm, had to resign recently over corrupt payments to Gulnara. In a decision reminiscent of Blair’s shutdown of the BAE Saudi bribes prosecution, Swedish authorities decided there was no public interest in prosecuting. Gulnara’s Swiss registered holding company Zeromax has been declared bankrupt, owing half a billion dollars to the state in taxes, and its assets confiscated then reprivatised to … Gulnara. Russian Telecoms giant MTS has been kicked out of Uzbekistan, substantially reducing available services there.

All of the above were examples of Gulnara kicking out fellow oligarchs from business interests which she held in partnership with others, to take the lot for herself. That has left a lot of despoiled oligarchs rather rueful. This centralisation of cash prior to a succession battle is a very high risk strategy. It is telling that Gulnara refers to my contact with Uzbek “clans”. In the Uzbek context, this does not mean tribe, but rather something more akin to regionally based mafia groupings, with whom the common people of the region have no identity. Gulnara is in the middle of a major rupture with Gafur Rakhimov, the largest mafia boss whose alliance with Karimov had been central to the regime’s stability.

I do not imagine Gulnara really believes I am connected to any of these rival mafia interests, though it is possible she is really that crazy. But plainly she is very rattled, or she would not be drawing all this attention to her business interests.

Two small points from the above. Firstly, one passage seems to reveal that the “interviewer” from Bilan was a chum of hers.

and guess who else? Exactly! Craig Murray – ex-ambassador to Uzbekistan,

I don’t think an ordinary Swiss journalist would have any idea who I was, let alone know I had called at the house.

This is one of my all time favourite tough journalist questions:

You are leading the list of most popular personalities from Central Asia in 2012 on search engines such as Google and Yandex. You are almost every day active on Twitter where you post many of your photos. How is this all related?

Final point – the first sentence of this post refers to me in the third person not because I have gone delusional, but so it works well as a retweet.

I have every hope the Karimov regime will fall in spring 2015.


377 thoughts on “Craig Murray in Cotton Corruption Scandal

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  • Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!)

    @ Resident Dissident, @ Scourge and others :

    Lenin, the exponent of “counter-revolutionary terror”, was every bit as bad as Stalin, he and his merry band just had less time in which to carry out mass murder.

    Cf. “Archipelago Gulag”.

  • KarimovaRevengeFantasist

    Re Gulnara Karimova’s suspected rip-off of $330m from the Uzbek state in respect of 3G mobile telephone operating license money paid by Teliasonera, it does seem possible that the Swedes have not closed their investigation into Gulnara’s Gibraltar based company, Takilant, the alleged receiver of the funds. Yes, I know there is no paper trail leading to Gulnara’s ownership (the ability to boil Ms Avakyan, the registered owner, alive will suffice as an alternative method of control of the company’s assets?).

    There is a bit here that says the Swedes have asked for an extension of the time allowed to bring charges against Takilant.

    http://www.redeye.se/aktieguiden/nyheter/teliasonera-aklagare-begar-forlangd-tid-takilant-atal-rtrs

    TELIASONERA: PROSECUTOR ASKS FOR EXTENDED TIME TAKILANT-INDICTMENT – RTRS

    Direct-SE 2013-02-05 12:55
    STOCKHOLM (Reuters) Prosecution has requested additional time for this summer to prosecute Takilant, who was TeliaSonera’s counterpart for its investment in Uzbekistan.

    According to the Authority’s request to the district court, writes Reuters.

    Prosecution of Takilant would be brought no later than 8 February to Stockholm District Court but the prosecution has now requested an extension until July 25.

    “The reason why the time for prosecution provoking requested include the extensive legal assistance requested in the abroad and can not be expected to have been fully implemented until at least the summer,” the prosecutor Berndt Berger.

    The District Court has decided to seize a total of 2 billion for Takilant.

  • resident dissident

    Habba

    I’m not sure I would agree that it was every bit as bad – bad yes but as bad as Stalin and his henchmen is very questionable. There were also some signs that Lenin recognised that he had gone too far towards the end of his life.

  • Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!)

    @ Resident Dissident :

    I agree that it can be debated. I guess I base my thought on the following

    Lenin and gang established the basics of the Soviet terror system, but he (well, and other fellow terorists) died relatively early on in the great Soviet experiment. It is fair to assume that had he lived for another 10 or 15 years the terror would have grown. For example, do you think that the process of collectivisation would have been different had he, rather than Stalin, been in charge. Internal tensions in the party would surely have surfaced as well (>> the great purges) as would have the shortcomings of various aspects of Soviet technico-economic managerial policy (>>>> trials of the engineers, the wreckers, etc). Persecution of the clergy would also have continued apace.

    Essentially, all this takes us back to the old question (one that A.S. also addresses : did the revolution go wrong because the wrong guy came along or did it contain the seeds of ongoing terror – seeds which would inevitably germinate – as from birth.

    Let’s just say they were both monsters.

  • Arbed

    Resident Dissident, 1.08pm

    One question I haven’t heard answered by Team Assange is why they haven’t offered to submit to questioning in the Ecuadorian embassy in Stockholm providing that they would be provided with assurances re safe transportation from London? It might actually offer a diplomatic way out of the current impasse.

    Yeah, that was offered by Ecuador back in September last year. Also turned down by Sweden.

    http://en.mercopress.com/2012/09/22/ecuador-suggests-transferring-assange-to-its-embassy-in-sweden-so-he-can-be-questioned

  • Arbed

    Habbabkuk, 7.01 and Resident Dissident, 9.34am

    Sorry, I’ve just realised I haven’t responded to your questions about retroactivity/this new Swedish law of “foreign espionage”.

    Yes, what is proposed is in the public domain but it’s in Swedish so unfortunately I can’t answer your question personally. However, the Swedish Flashback forum has had a good look at the proposed legislation and they are firmly convinced it can be used against Assange. I’ve posted this link a couple of times now. In it various Swedish Flashback commenters break down exactly how – exactly which articles and sections of Sweden’s extradition laws, etc, it could be used alongside. Again, you’ll have to use Google translate on it, I’m afraid:

    https://www.flashback.org/t1275257p4339

  • Arbed

    PS.

    Besides which, if you are suggesting that Sweden would have to resort to retroactivity to use this law against Assange I think you have misunderstood what I was saying in my comment at 7.44am. The US government recently confirmed that, as far as they are concerned, they define Wikileaks’ continued possession of the US military war logs and State Department cables as an ongoing violation of US law, ie. the ‘crime’ is still in active status. No need for retroactivity.

    George Little, Pentagon spokesman, 28 September 2012:

    “Little says the Pentagon “has warned Mr. Assange and Wikileaks against soliciting service members to break the law by providing classified information to them, and that it is our view that continued possession by Wikileaks of classified information belonging to the United States government represents a continuing violation of law. We regard this as a law enforcement matter.” [my emphasis]

    http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/politics/2012/09/are-troops-talking-to-assange-communicating-with-the-enemy/

  • Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!)

    Arbed – you say

    “Besides which, if you are suggesting that Sweden would have to resort to retroactivity to use this law against Assange I think you have misunderstood what I was saying in my comment at 7.44am. The US government recently confirmed that, as far as they are concerned, they define Wikileaks’ continued possession of the US military war logs and State Department cables as an ongoing violation of US law, ie. the ‘crime’ is still in active status. No need for retroactivity.”

    No, I understood what you were saying previously, but that was not my question/point. The key words in the above appear to be “as far as they (ie, the Americans) are concerned”. If the Swedes do not share that conception, ie, if they consider that the “crome” is not on-going but lies in the past then there would appear to be no risk for JA – unless the forthcoming Swedish law provides for retroactivity. So the question of whether the forthcoming law envisages retroactivity is the important one.

  • doug scorgie

    Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!)
    16 Mar, 2013 – 3:13 pm

    To Arbed:

    “No, I understood what you were saying previously, but that was not my question/point. The key words in the above appear to be “as far as they (ie, the Americans) are concerned”. If the Swedes do not share that conception, ie, if they consider that the “crome”[sic] is not on-going but lies in the past then there would appear to be no risk for JA – unless the forthcoming Swedish law provides for retroactivity. So the question of whether the forthcoming law envisages retroactivity is the important one.”

    Habbabkuk no criminal law in Sweden can be made retroactively.

    In Sweden, retroactive penal sanctions and other retroactive legal effects of criminal acts due the State are prohibited by chapter 2, section 10 of the Instrument of Government (Regeringsformen).

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ex_post_facto_law#Sweden

    The USA has not yet made an extradition request to Sweden but common sense dictates that they will if and when Assange arrives there and they will make their request citing “an on-going crime.”

    You want Assange to go to Sweden and risk extradition to the USA on the off-chance that Sweden just MIGHT take a different view on the definition of “an on-going crime.”

    The US also has powerful leverage over Sweden’s security interests:

    “The Office for Defense Industry Cooperation at the Embassy of Sweden, in Washington DC, supports the defense trade and industry cooperation between Sweden and the United States. The office team of industry experts is a driving force in paving the way for business relations between the Swedish defense industry and the U.S. Armed Forces.”

    “Defense material trade and industrial cooperation between the countries is today considered an important ingredient in the relationship between Sweden and the U.S., and CRUCIAL for Swedish security and defense.”

    http://sacc-usa.org/currents/business/defense-industry-cooperation-between-sweden-and-the-united-states/

    You say above:

    “…if they consider that the [“crime”] is not on-going but lies in the past then there would appear to be no risk for JA…”

    No risk?!

  • Arbed

    Habbabkuk, 3.13pm

    “If the Swedes do not share that conception, ie, if they consider that the “crime” is not on-going but lies in the past then there would appear to be no risk for JA”

    I have to say I completely disagree with this. The Swedish authorities will have to deal with any extradition request that comes in on the basis on which it is presented, so if the US chooses to request Assange’s extradition for “ongoing violation of the xxx law” that is the basis on which a decision will be made, just as our courts here in the UK have had to decide on Assange’s extradition to Sweden on the basis of how the request was presented on the face of the EAW warrant. Our courts have had no power to look at the underlying evidence and decide how we (meaning the UK) interpreted it or whether we consider there to be a prima facie case to answer. The Swedes will be in exactly the same position regarding an extradition request from the United States.

  • technicolour

    I’m on Firefox and the translate function is sulking. But this from Arbed:

    “foreign journalists reporting foreign war-disclosures (eg, Afghanistan) can be prosecuted in Sweden for “espionage””

    Sweden is preparing to make it illegal for journalists to report on wars? Surely this must be wrong.

    Arbed: can’t find anything from a quick search: any chance you (or someone) could post a translation? Thanks for previous explanations by the way, valuable.

    http://www.expressen.se/debatt/krigsjournalistik-maste-fa-vara-fri/

  • Jemand - Guns vs iPods

    Google Translation

    Original page
    http://www.expressen.se/debatt/krigsjournalistik-maste-fa-vara-fri/
    . . . . .

    War Journalism needs to be free

    Should it be prohibited to disclose information about abuse and mistakes that occur in the context of international military operations in which Sweden participates? Should it be a crime to publish information about secret prisons, torture, and the consequences for the civilian population, for example in Afghanistan?

    The questions appear on reading the Espionage and other illegal intelligence (SOU 2012:95).
    Government investigators want to introduce two new offenses, foreign espionage and aggravated espionage abroad. As the specimen was Counsellor Ella Nystrom spent the provisions of espionage against Sweden.

    The provisions relating to foreign intelligence would be applicable in international military operations such as ISAF in Afghanistan and KFOR in Kosovo. It plays unlike spying not matter if we are formally at war or not.

    Just as in the case of espionage directed specifically against Sweden breaks the constitution regulated protection for whistleblowers in foreign espionage.But beyond the restriction of informant protection is also suggested that the so-called crimes directory of TF expression constitutions and YGL expanded.

    It will be a crime to go to a foreign power or organization, as “warlords in Afghanistan”, provided by publishing information the “revelation” can cause “serious harm” for a military operation in which Sweden participates. But even in cases where the purpose is to build opinion against or engage in news reporting about an operation shall be an offense to publish a statement “concerning any fact of a secret nature.”

    Obviously, it means a “serious but” if the information may risk soldiers’ lives are in circulation, such as elective surgery and armament. Such data deserves strong protection but probably already covered by a qualified confidentiality.

    But the publication of a task “means that the operation is weakened, for example by a participant … can only attend to a lesser degree” is under investigation constitute a serious but. This also applies to things that are not directly related to the operation, such as “information of a more general and political nature, such as concerns national peer relationships or future cooperation.” However, it should be possible to publish information that leads to a “limited undermining” of the operation. But what is meant by “limited” is not clear.

    Inquiry balance between the interest in protecting military operations and to critically examine the stakes are superficial. Any discussion of how the proposal would affect the news agency and public opinion are not made. The investigator is content frankly to explain that the proposal will have “negative impacts” of expression and freedom of information, but may be considered acceptable.

    The investigation took lightly speech interest is also reflected in several other ways.
    According to the report “it is difficult to assess the practical need” of new press and speech crimes. The need would usually be given a decisive role in the introduction of rules especially if they affect fundamental rights. The inquiry has not even made an attempt to estimate demand.
    According to the report, it is “not unlikely that a foreign power or organization” could use constitutional protection to overcome the “information covered by the proposed criminalization”. The reasoning is incomprehensible in terms of the introduction of new speech crimes.

    The investigation has not nearly been considering whether it might be enough to expand and possibly tighten the confidentiality of certain information in order to achieve the same goals as the introduction of the crime of international espionage with their penalties.

    The study appearing and seeking legitimacy for their proposals by writing that the “consultation with the Committee of Freedom of Speech.” Any documented consultation in the sense that Freedom Committee had to give their views on the Committee’s proposal has not happened.
    The investigation does not affect the expansion of Sweden’s obligation to provide legal assistance to other countries resulting from the proposal. With the new offenses, other countries have the right to expect that Swedish authorities including after graduate and holding interviews with informants in Sweden, which has provided information about the other country units and soldiers’ conduct in an international military intervention.

    The question of what impact the proposal will have on the possibility of using coercive measures, such as phone tapping and covert raid against editors, are not affected.

    The Committee’s proposals endanger an Examining war and foreign reporting.Such journalism requires sometimes that even information that could constitute “serious harm” for the operation or future cooperation dragged into the light.

    NILS Funcke
    is a freelance journalist and press freedom expert. He is a former secretary of Yttrandefrihetskommitén-chief of the Riksdag & Departement.

  • Jemand - Guns vs iPods

    Re possession of US military war logs and similar classified material

    The questions above concerning retroactive applicability and what constitutes an “ongoing offence” are quite relevant. 

    If I were a competent defence lawyer and not just the stellar bush lawyer that I fancy myself to be, I’d offer the following advice.

    Unlawfully obtained information is not theft (stealing) in the proper and legal sense that people often make it out to be. In fact, I have never seen legislation that uses the terms ‘theft’ or ‘stealing’ on this matter. In West Australian jurisdiction, the offence of stealing must be accompanied by an intention of permanently depriving the rightful owner of possesion. Compare stealing a motor vehicle with unauthorised use of same. If you take something and return it to its rightful owner before you get nicked, a charge of stealing is then much harder to prove.

    Stealing is injurious to a victim because it deprives that person of enjoyment of that thing for the duration of his/her dispossession. Copying (and not destroying the original copy) of information has its own problems, but it is very different to stealing. One example is that a copy does not render the victim incapable of enjoying the use of the original information. So, any ongoing possession of unlawfully copied information does not necessarily aggregate the injury of the offence. 

    In my unqualified opinion, as a principle, there is a case for receiving illegally copied information if the offence was encouraged and its subsequent use was intended to cause unlawful injury to the proper owner. In the case of the publication of US military war logs, I would argue that the proper owner is the people of the US and that they are ultimately the intended recipients of the information for their collective benefit (ie informed opportunity to reform systems of government and enforce laws). Beyond theoretical problems with fictious scenarios in a universe of possibilities, where is the offence in copying classified information and publishing it in the manner that Wikileaks has done?

    The tendency of governments to enact broadly applicable legislation for selective prosecution is a worrying trend that allows them to pick and choose their targets for political purposes rather than protecting people from harm. How far they are willing to go in prosecuting those who receive classified information will be interesting. Are these developments an example of constructing “single use” legislation that will be repealed soon after it serves the Swedish purpose of assisting the US in the destruction of Wikileaks?

  • Arbed

    Jemand, 6.41 and 7.47am

    Thanks for these two great posts. They really help spell out what I’ve been trying to get across to people.

    This bit especially:

    Are these developments an example of constructing “single use” legislation that will be repealed soon after it serves the Swedish purpose of assisting the US in the destruction of Wikileaks?

    That definition – “single-use legislation” – is exactly how I would describe Sweden’s new Espionage and other illegal intelligence (SOU 2012:95) law.

    … and the Supreme Court’s (mis)interpretation of the Vienna Convention’s applicability to the EU Framework Directive for the purposes of deciding whether an investigating prosecutor is a judicial authority. Hence the need now for the UK to rapidly withdraw from the EAW, now that they’ve FUBARed its already inadequate HR protections for “single-use” purposes?

    … and the NDAA 2012 Section 1021(b)?

  • resident dissident

    Please feel free to argue about the likelihood or otherwise of the Swedes using retroactive legislation to lock away/extradite JA eventhough the legislation has not yet been produced and there are no previous examples of the modern Swedish state haveing done so. But could I just point out the irony of the Swedish courts being used to to attack one of Gulnara’s pet money earning schemes as pointed out by KarimovaRevengeFantasist. So the Swedish courts are not entirely corrupt and useless?

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