Alfred Kokh (born 28 February 1961, Zyrianovsk, East Kazakhstan) finished school in Togliatti (Samara Region) in 1978. In 1983 he graduated from the Leningrad University of Economics and Finance. In 1987 he became PhD in economic cybernetics. His dissertation was reviewed by Anatoly Chubais. Since 1991 he was deputy head of Saint Petersburg Foundation for Management of State Property. In 1991 he met Vladimir Putin.
1992-1993 deputy head of the committee for state property management within the mayor’s office in St Petersburg
1993-1996 deputy and first deputy head of State Committee of the Russian Federation for State Property Management
September 1996 head of the Goskomimushestvo (State Committee for State Property Management)
March 1997 deputy prime-minister
He left the cabinet on 13 August after so called ‘writers’ scandal (bribery scam, pertaining to publishing book titled «History of Russian privatization»). He was suspected of abuse of power and faced trial, but in December 1999 the case against him was dropped by the prosecutor of Moscow due to the amnesty.
1 September 1997 chairman of the board of asset management company Montes Auri Closed JSC
10 June 2000 director general of Gazprom-Media holding
In April 2001 he took part in the conflict over NTV channel
On 3 April 2001 chairman of the board of directors of NTV
In October 2001 he resigned as the head of Gazprom-Media company.
On 26 February 2002 he was elected member of the upper house of Russian parliament, representing the Legislative Assembly of the Leningrad Region. On 23 April 2002 he resigned after the regional prosecutor appealed against the result of ballot in the Legislative Assembly.
In 2004-2005 he published a series of books titled A Crate of Vodka. His co-author was journalist Igor Svinarenko (in 2006 the book was nominated for the Big Book award).
In 2008 he co-authored together with historian and demographist Pavel Polyan the book Denial of the Denial. The book is a collection of evidence, refuting Holocaust denial claims. The authors arrive at the conclusion that Holocaust denial is not merely falsification of history, but a dangerous geopolitical project.
Currently Kokh chairs the editorial board of Medved Editorial House LLC (the company publishing Medved magazine). He is a columnist for the magazine. Alfred Kokh sold Medved magazine to Oleg Deripaska’s Forward Media Group (FMG). The deal was secured in August 2008.
In 1995 through so-called ‘loans-for-share’ auction Onexim seized control of Norilsky Nickel JSC (38% stake). The bank paid a knockdown price of $170m and turned Norilsky Nickel over to Svift bank Closed JSC, the company affiliated with Onexim. Kokh was the head of the State Committee for State Property Management, overseeing the auctions. Following written request by member of the State Duma Melnikov, Moscow’s chief prosecutor opened criminal investigation into Kokh’s activities under Article 170.2 of the Criminal Code of the RSFSR (abuse of power which led to grave consequences). The investigators came to the conclusion that Kokh abused his power to help Onexim acquire Norilsky Nickel for the knockdown price. Yet the case was dismissed due to the amnesty.
Late in August 2003 Aleksey Melnikov, the member of the lower chamber of the Russian parliament, representing Yabloko party, submitted a request to prosecutor general Vladimir Ustinov, asking to reinvestigate Kokh’s case and check whether privatization of Nornickel had been legal. Melnikov claimed he had copies of classified documents of Onexim bank, proving that on 1 September 1997 bank allowed Kokh to spend $6.5 m. “This is the evidence that Kokh acted in Onexim’s interests”.
Melnikov claimed that Kokh deliberately violated regulations of «Temporary method of suggesting opening bid for shares» and understated inicial price for shares of Nornickel - from $310m to $170m. Kokh debared Russian Credit bank, an Onexim's competitor, from taking part in the auction on the grounds that the bank's endorsement did not match the requirements of 'instruction no.1' issued by the Cenral Bank. Later the forensic analysis showed, that the other two participants (including the winner - Reola LLC, controlled by Onexim bank) should not have taken part in the auction for the same reasons. Melnikov alleged that Kokh, acting in the interests of Onexim, deceived the cabinet. «His fraudulent actions resulted in the illegal acqusion of 38% of state-owned shares of Norilsk Nickel by Onexim».
Source: Vedomosti, 29 August 2003
On July 2, 1997, by the presidential decree Boris Yeltsin charged deputy-prime minister Alfred Kokh with “undertaking personal control of putting up shares of TNK oil-and-gas company to auction and supervising the observance of regulations”. 40% of shares were sold to New Holding company, controlled by Alfa-group and Access/Renova.
In 2000 investigators from the interior ministry opened criminal case under the Article “Fraud” of the Criminal Code. The investigation came to the conclusion that the auction terms were formulated so as to make Alfa the only possible winner. For instance, the terms stipulated acquisition of the atmospheric-vacuum distillation unit AVT-2, controlling interest in Konnas design bureau and 16 letters patents - Alfa-group and Access/Renova had already bought these assets.
Source: Vedomosti, 23 December 2002
In 1997 Kokh got involved in the scandal with $100,000 royalties for unpublished book about history of privatization in Russia. Moscow’s Prosecutor’s office opened criminal case against Kokh. It emerged that a Swiss publishing house called Servina Trading S.A. (which had 5 employees led by an official from Onexim) stroke a contract with Kokh and paid him the royalties. The rumour had it that Potanin repaid Kokh for his favours in Norilsk Nickel auction.
Source: Profile, 31 July 2000
Alfred Kokh was appointed the director general of Gazprom-Media holding in summer 2000. At the press conference he said that Gazprom-Media was «resuscitated» in order to sort out numerous media assets of Gazprom, including the shares of Media-Most and NTV. Media-Most owed Gazprom over $210 m.
Alfred Kokh promised to sell shares of Media-Most company to a major foreign investor in case he became the owner of Media-Most group.
In June 2000 Vladimir Gusinsky was arrested on charges of $10m fraud during privatization of a state-run company called Russian Video. He was put into isolation ward of the Butyrskaya prison, but later he was released on a cognizance not to leave Moscow. In exhange, he stroke a deal and turned the shares of Media-Most to Gazprom as liabilities pay-off.
Early in April 2001 the shareholders’ meeting appointed Kokh the chairman of the board of NTV, Boris Jordan - the director general of NTV and Vladimir Kulistikov - the editor-in-chief of NTV.
Source: NEWSru.com, 14 April 2011
In October 2001 Alfred Kokh resigned as the director general of Gazprom-Media. “They disposed of me by office intrigues. I have not yet understood how they could trap me, a 40-years old sensible man. I am no player in this games,” said Kokh and promised to reveal the details of ‘jiggery-pokery’ at the press-conference which did not take place. He was unavailable for comment.
Kokh’s resignation might have been an impulsive act for his part. His immediate superior Aleksey Miller (CEO of Gazprom) learned about Kokh’s resignation from the news on his way to meet the team of NTV.
Source: Novaya gazeta, 15 October 2001
On 26 February 2002 the Legislative Council of the Leningrad Region elected Kokh as a representative of the region in the Federation Council of the Russian Federation. A few days later Yury Prokofiev, the chief regional prosecutor, and Oleg Petrov, the member of the Legislative Council of the Leningrad Region, filed an appeal against the resolution about Kokh's election to the Federation Council in Vyborg's court and the court of Central District of St Petersburg. The bailiffs pointed to the violations of proceedings in Kokh's nomination. Sergey Mironov, head of the Federation Council, said that on 5 March 2002 the Federation Council received the court ruling of the Vyborg's court and stopped the approval of Kokh's candidature as the representative of the Leningrad Region.
Source: RIA Novosti, 5 March 2002
On 28 March 2002 Kokh gave up his attempts to become member of the upper chamber. At the meeting, held by the regional governor Valery Serdyukov, he said that he «did not want to raise negavite publicity around the Legislative Council of the Leningrad Region and the region itself, because of rumours of bribes allegedly paid to the members of the Legislative Council».
Source: Kommersant, 29 March 2002
At the end of April 2003 Kokh headed the campaign staff of the Union of Right Forces. He declined an offer for several time, but could not help accepting it after Chubais’ personal request. However, he outlined the following term: he should be member of the federal party list of the Union of Right Forces («somewhere between no.5 and no.10», so that to become MP even with the minimal vote of 5%) and $500,000 salary.
Source: Gazeta, 5 May 2003