Looking for Gulnara 86


This video is in Russian but is pretty self-explanatory. While in Geneva we decided to look for Gulnara Karimova’s US25 million dollar home, to see how the proceeds of forced child labour are spent.

childslaves

Regular readers will recall the EU Commission insisted to me there is “no reliable evidence” of what is in truth the use of millions of forced child labourers in the Uzbek state owned cotton plantations. I was also interested to see if there was any activity surrounding the large underground concrete vaults established under the rear of the garden behind Gulnara’s house three years ago at a cost of eight million dollars. I detailed in Murder in Samarkand that the Karimov’s loot Uzbekistan’s large state-owned gold industry in stealing physical gold, some of which is fenced through Gulnara’s jewellery business, but most of which is stored as collateral.

The Karimovs had lost a certain amount of faith in the Swiss banking system’s ability or willingness to protect their money in all circumstances, so have started storing the physical gold in the vaults under Gulnara’s back garden on the shores of Lake Geneva.

Their faith in the Swiss banking system was further damaged a few months ago when Gulnara’s erstwhile business partner Bekzond Akhmedov absconded with US 312 million dollars she regarded as hers but which was held in his name. Akhmedov is so hated by the Karimov’s they now even associate him with me, which is definitely the seventh circle of hell in their world-view. Hence Gulnara’s extraordinary attack on me:

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.

As I have never met Mr Akhmedov, or any Pakistani businessmen, or been involved in cotton trading, I think I have a pretty watertight case to sue Gulnara for libel. Unfortunately the lawyers I approached want £30,000 down. Our libel laws exist to protect the rich from exposure by the honest, not to protect the honest from the malice of the rich. If any lawyer reading wants to take this on pro bono, I should be delighted.

Talking of protection of the rich, Mutabar Tadjibaeva was eventually questioned by Swiss police for three hours over the “incident” in the video. I assure you nothing else happened other than what you see here. This is appalling harassment by the Swiss authorities. It is also racially aggravated harassment. The Uzbek Mission in Switzerland made the complaint by name equally against Mutabar and me, but the Swiss police chose only to harass the more vulnerable Mutabar, a survivor of severe torture in Uzbekistan. Truly disgraceful behaviour by the Swiss authorities.


86 thoughts on “Looking for Gulnara

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  • Jemand

    Is there any possibility of starting a campaign to have end-consumer products marked with “Contains Child Labour”?

  • Suhayl Saadi

    Craig, ‘N_’ on the ‘Sky’s not Falling’ thread (and actually another poster back on 11th March 2013) mentioned an organisation called ‘The British Uzbek Society’. When you have a moment, could you please tell us more about this organisation? is it a cultural body, a business body, or both, or something else altogether? Thanks very much.

  • Villager

    Ben: “‘Free’ in the US will cost you 1/3 of the settlement, so beware.”

    I doubt in the UK it would work like that, although I’m unclear on the jurisdiction rules that would apply here.

    But in the UK, a typical no-win no-fee would be normal hourly rates with an agreed uplift. In a win the fees are likely to be ordered to be paid by the other side. Out-of-court settlements are likely and encouraged.

    Craig, you’re right about the insurance — it would appear you’ve done some homework — good thing. A good approach is to do one’s homework thoroughly and go step-by-step including meeting 2 to 3 solicitors and perhaps even one barrister, not only to get a 360 degree grasp of the legal principles and process, but also the test the chemistry with your solicitor to be.

    Jemand’s remarks about publicity, in that context, are very premature.

  • April Showers

    There is a parliamentary association too.

    http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm/cmallparty/register/uzbekistan.htm

    In fact there are ones for almost every country. Interesting reading of the names that crop up.

    Contents

    Introduction
    The Nature of All-Party Groups
    Purpose and Form of the Register of APGs
    Administration of the Register of APGs
    Information and advice about APGs

    Section 1: Country Groups

    Section 2: Subject Groups

    Section 3: Staff who hold an APG pass

    http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm/cmallparty/register/contents.htm

  • Suhayl Saadi

    Yes, April Showers, thanks, I thought that. Of course, there are British-Other Friendship Societies/Associations for most countries in the world, as one would expect; that’s partly how business/trade/cultural interactions get done, relationships established. But I wanted to ask Craig, from his in-depth knowledge of the relationship b/w specifically the UK and Uzbekistan, in more detail, what exactly do they do and who is on their board, how are they financed, what might the board members’ connections be and so on and so forth? And what has been his experience of interacting with them? Perhaps others too will know more on this topic – ‘Uzbek in the UK’, for example?

  • morna

    In the concourse at Waterloo railway station in London the other day, I saw a group of people selling military-style ‘paintball’ activities.

    ‘Israelis’? I wondered to myself.

    It gets worse than dodgy-visa types selling ‘Dead Sea’ snake oil in shopping malls. I’ve previously noted with a growing sense of fear how branches of Marks and Spencer have opened at major transport hubs. And yes, of course there have been ‘removal firm’ and ‘art students’. Ignore at your peril.

    And then I saw this:

    Tippmann Tactical Paintball Event in UK promotes a new style of play

    The idea of the Tippmann tactical was to give each member of the team exactly the same equipment so that a level playing field is provided. Each member was issued a M16 Phenom, a Tippmann tactical vest, HPA bottle and remote line, and with limited paint of no more than 40 paintballs in an Urban environment.

    After twenty minutes the group was called back for a brief, which informed them that a hostage had been taken from an oil field by a terrorist organization that had links to a London based radical group. Their mission was to free the hostage and gather intelligence on what the London based terrorist group were planning, with only with the forty paintballs issued to each team member, they patrolled down to a street of houses that were known to be the holding point for the hostage.

    The team killed a guard utilizing a sniper, breached the door sending teams of two into the basement, the first floor and second floor, taking out five terrorists and securing the hostage. Following this, the team would gather intelligence and within ten minutes had to be clear of the building with as much information as possible making a tactical withdraw whilst under fire from a second terrorist cell.

    Upon getting back to the safe house the team looked over all the intelligence gathered to see what the terrorists had planned, a map with all of the London stations, photographs of Waterloo station, an improvised explosive device and three mobile phones. If all information was gathered the story that was told was that the terrorist cell in London was going to blow up Waterloo station with the improvised explosive device. This exercise was carried out by seven Delta teams, not all of them gathered all the information and teams were graded on intelligence gathered ,efficiency of approach and tactical entry and clearance of building and tactical withdraw.

    A great weekend was had by all with a new form of paintball not seen in the UK to date

    What the fuck is all this about?

  • nevermind

    The libel damages, since you and many thousands of children have been aggrieved and enslaved, should be kept specific and simple.
    The contents of her underground depository in Geneva would do as a first instalment. Why mention sums at all.

  • N_

    I appreciate the concern, but as I have never met Mr Akhmedov or these Pakistani businessmen, or ever lobbied for a cotton contract, I really don’t see how I can lose.

    Is it possible that what she’s written has already been lawyered-up?

    I’m totally on your side, but look at what your opponent’s very highly-paid lawyers might argue here.

    I am going only by the quote from Ms Karimova that you republish here.

    Remember I have never met these people, and the burden of proof is not on me to prove that. Gulnara has to prove I have met them and done these things, which as I have not, will be extraordinarily difficult.

    You can’t win a libel case just by the defendant not being able to prove the truth of what they say.

    You have to show they’ve published something defamatory.

    It isn’t defamatory for her just to say you’ve met people you haven’t.

    It is defamatory if, after you’ve said you haven’t (especially if you’ve demanded a correction – have you?), she continues to say you have, making the suggestion that you are a liar.

    What does she mean by “lobbying”? Is she trying to suggest, falsely, that you were involved, or sought to be involved, in some kind of criminal business association with Akhmedov, a man who is wanted by Interpol, but who, as far as I’m aware, has not been convicted?

    That would be defamatory. But is that what she’s saying?

    What exactly is she alleging or suggesting about you and cotton contracts?

    Might she be saying that you lobbied them on human rights issues, against the regime, but that they were still nonetheless willing, hypocritically, to get contracts with the regime?

    OK, that’s totally false, if you haven’t met them or had any other contact with them. But it might be very difficult for you to prove that it’s defamatory. Are you really so sure that the court won’t accept that one possible reasonable interpretation of Ms Karimova’s allegation is that she is saying that you have acted in a way which for all she knows, might be non-criminal, non-self-serving, and non-commercial, in contact with alleged criminals who, in actual fact, she can’t show you’ve ever had any contact with whatsoever, because you haven’t?

    Is that defamatory? Are you really convinced that lawyers could win you the case, by reading between the lines of what she’s said?

    And even if it is defamatory, how defamatory is it? If it’s so defamatory, why are you republishing it?

    After all, you seem to like the idea of being called a habitué of “dens of iniquity”.

    That’s not me saying these things. I think you’re a good bloke! But this is the sort of thing that would be said by your opponents in the litigation.

    “Perhaps such publicity would be assessed to be so damaging to her already dubious reputation that she might settle out of court.

    What reputation is most useful to her, business-wise? That she’s cuddly and kind? Or that she’s ruthlessly vicious?

  • April Showers

    I see what you mean Suhayl. Perhaps Craig will find time to tell us what he knows of the B-U association and/or others.

  • Trowbridge H. Ford

    Just cannot understand why there is such little interest in why butcher Islam Karimov is given such impunity by the USA and the EU.

    Seems to predate 9/11 by 15 years, and has much to do with keeping Russia boxed in.

    While the USSR still existed, Uzbekistan was essential in its testing of nuclear missiles, and the stationing of most of its ICBMs.

    During the lead-up to the non-nuclear conclusion to the USSR, Karimov entered the Soviet communist hierarchy there, and seems to have kept Washington informed about what was in the works at the Baikonur Cosmodrome aka Tyurstan.

    It was at its railway station that Alexandr Litveninko’s GRU inspection squad discovered that cargo container full of sensors to discover if the Soviets were preparing their liquid-fueled ICBMs in response of the surprise assassination of Sweden’s prime minister Olof Palme aka Operation ABSORB.

    Karimov, it seems, made up for Litveninko’s find, and informed the CIA that there was no launch preparation in response to the Stockholm shooting.

    After the smoke settled from the Stockholm fiasco, seems Karimov’s people were involved in getting rid of not only whistleblower Barschel but also weapons overseer Admiral Fredric Algernon.

    And , of course, Uzbek played a big role in seeing that the Soviet nuclear arsenal was reduced, and keeping track of what Moscow was developing ay Tyurstan. It has a lease on the place until 2050.

    Little wonder that Islam can act like the 21st century’s Louis XIV.

  • Trowbridge H. Ford

    For more on what the CIA was up to in Uzbekistan when Palme was assassinated, read Steve Coll’s Ghost Wars, especially the parts about DCI William Casey ordering the printing of the Koran in Uzbek in 1985, and its delivery by Pakistan’s ISI to Uzbek’s Muslims, so that its Muslims would rise up against the state when the fallout from the planned non-nuclear conclusion to the Cold War took place – what Putin’s spies in the USA and at home prevented.

    What Karimov tried to overcome has become Washington’s standard plan in overthrowing enemy states like Iarn, China, North Korea, etc. – i.e., create a man-made, surprise disaster where the governments responsible are not able to contain the popular backlash.

    Rean Stillman and Reed’s The Nuclear Express for more.

    Karimov has been given the green light to suppress whatever it takes to make similar efforts successful.

  • Ben Franklin -Machine Gun Preacher (unleaded version)

    Yes, Trowbridge. I remember the dire warnings in the Media (circa 1980’s)about the restive nature of the muslim population in the former USSR. They cautioned that the break-up would be a cat-on-a-hot-tin-roof for the former Soviet leadership. It makes sense CIA would fan those flames. I wonder how much activity today, is the outcropping of old grudges and blood revenge.

  • Trowbridge H. Ford

    Right, Ben.

    Islam Karimov has become the West’s model for dealing with enemy states – the ambitious politician who is willing to do anything to gain power, and then engage in regime-change after a terrible man-made disaster.

    Mi6 hoped that Bo Xilai would fit the bill, but China’s MoSS got wind of what was going on, thanks apparently to the spies it developed in Britain.

    Karimov has proven so valuable because after doing everything the Anglo’Americans wanted in 1986, he not only helped cover up the fiasco in Europe’s Far North, but also everything he could to put radical Muslim; extremism back in the box.

  • craig Post author

    N

    Mr Akhmedov has been reported to Interpol by the Uzbek government as a major figure in serious organised crime. To claim I am a close associate of someone who Gulnara’s own people have reported as a member of the mafia is clearly an attempt to defame by associating me with criminal activity (NB I am not saying Akhmedov really is a criminal – I don’t know).

    Equally it would have been entirely inappropriate for a British Ambassador to be involved in lobbying for cotton contracts in company with Pakistani businessmen. That clearly is also, and is also intended to be, an accusation that would damage my reputation.

  • Max

    Trowbridge,
    Are u sure u know the difference between stan countries of former soviets? Just for a thought: Baykonur is not in Uzbekistan. Besides, all nuclear related matters were strongly controlled by KGB at that time.

  • Trowbridge H. Ford

    Thanks, Max, but I don’t claim to know or want to know the various differences among all the former Soviet Muslim republics, Baikonur
    Cosmodrone is in Uzbekistan, and the KGB controlling all the Union’s nuclear capabilities is irrelevant in this case – it was a question of what spies, especially Islam, were doing for the Anglo-Americans.

    Why all the obfuscation?

  • Michael Stephenson

    Have you considered a kickstarter campaign to raise the funds to sue Gulnara for libel?

  • AlexT

    Craig,

    When and where did the Mutabar Tadjibaeva questioning by Swiss police take place ? I was under the impression she left the country without problem except for a phone call that “never happened”. Did she return ? Was she arrested ? Charged ?
    A concerned Swiss citizen…

  • Jives

    Another fantastic post Craig.

    That whole family sound like horrific barbaric animals,without morals or conscience.

    They will,at end,get what they deserve.

  • April Showers

    Berne is not far from Geneva, about 100 miles in fact. Gulnara watch out!

    Swiss Police Uses Tear Gas to Disperse Protesters

    Swiss police say they have arrested over 60 people in the capital Bern after a street parade turned into a protest against capitalism and police brutality. Authorities said 10,000 people turned up at the event, protesting against neo-liberal economics and commercialism.

    The march had started peacefully late on Saturday, but later clashes broke out between the police and dozens of protesters, with the security forces using tear gas and a water canon to disperse crowds.

    The Police released a statement on Sunday, saying that 61 people had been taken into custody.

    Prior to the rally, riot police had been extensively deployed with barricades having been set up around Parliament Square.

    Organizers issued a statement on Sunday, condemning the measures taken by authorities, saying many of the participants had acted in self-defense and the officials had conducted a smear campaign.

    “The state made its intentions clear. The protection of parliament was more important than that of thousands of people,” said the organizers.

    The parade, held for the third consecutive year, had been organized on social networking websites.

    Source: Russia Today, edited by website team

    27-05-2013 | 14:08

    http://www.english.moqawama.org/fastnewsdetails.php?fstid=5053

  • Komodo

    “North Scottish airports ‘used for rendition flights’”

    ….add RAF (as was) Leuchars. Gulfstreams often seen there. And why use civvy airfields anyway? Tell me you need any kind of permission to land at an RAF base as long as MoD approves.

  • geoffrey

    Whilst the remarks may be defamatory,surely noone will believe her?
    If she had accused you of being in cahoots with Blair,Straw or Milliband then it would be serious.

  • Jon

    Hi Arbed, John;

    Apologies, quite busy over the weekend. Now released – I’ll increase the number of permitted links, but if you need to post with more speed, just repost a held comment in smaller bits, and flag it to me to delete the duplicate at leisure.

  • John K

    O/T, but only slightly so.

    It’s tough being an MP.

    Jack Straw declared earnings of … £183,000… Straw said that his work as an MP allowed ample time for outside work, which was mainly a mixture of speaking engagements and writing.

    “I devote around 60-70 hours to my duties as an MP, both national and constituency-related,” he said. “After allowing for sleep, and family/social activities, there are another 30-40 hours available for my other work.”

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2013/may/27/mps-declare-income-other-jobs

  • Vronsky

    @komodo

    Prestwick airport was allegedly used – Hamilton QC got on the case for a while, trying to spark some moral reaction from the local presbytery. You can guess how that turned out. Prestwick is civilian, but has a Fleet Air Arm base.

  • Komodo

    Morna – relax.
    Tippman sponsors nerds to fire paintballs at each other with Tippman paintball guns. The event was held on an Army training range in Wiltshire – it’s illegal to carry even paintball guns in public. And the scenario is devised for bangbangyou’redead excitement with a hint of topical relevance for the fantasist inside every middleaged man.

    Vronsky – yes. And wasn’t Prestwick rather more controversially used for shipping arms to Israel from the US during the 2006 unpleasantness? Seem to remember that one flew under the radar so to speak.

  • Anon

    Dundee and Leuchars used by planes linked to CIA rendition flights

    http://www.thecourier.co.uk/news/scotland/dundee-and-leuchars-used-by-planes-linked-to-cia-rendition-flights-1.96929

    CIA planes linked to the controversial practice of “extraordinary rendition” landed at Leuchars and Dundee airports on multiple occasions, according to investigators.

    Information has emerged showing a number of aircraft suspected to be involved in the US security service’s programme, which has been dogged by links to allegations of secret prisons and torture.

    The academic study also revealed flights landed at Leuchars — the only RAF base in Scotland highlighted in the research — and Dundee’s commercial airport.

    North East Fife MP Sir Menzies Campbell has called for a full investigation to be held into the claims, with the unredacted results made public, while Dundee East MP Stewart Hosie promised to raise the matter with Foreign Secretary William Hague.

    More at http://www.thecourier.co.uk/news/scotland/dundee-and-leuchars-used-by-planes-linked-to-cia-rendition-flights-1.96929

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