Look what an interesting story. It's pretty complicated, so let's start from the beginning. In February this year, a group of activists in London organized a so-called "kleptocracy tour" around London. They were put on a bus and journalists were taken on a tour of London, but instead of the usual the London Eye, Tower of London and Westminster Abbey were taken to the most expensive central areas of the city and the prestigious suburb, where hidden villas of many millions of pounds. These villas were bought through complex offshore schemes, so that to determine who they actually owns, it is difficult, but some owners have to calculate. They were officers, their wives and children from countries where there is a tradition of people on TV to talk about patriotism and rallying around a national leader and belt-tightening, and by thus hiding money in offshore anonymous in the Virgin Islands and villas in London. Map "Kleptotura" which were distributed to journalists, looks like this:
Sally Hayden / VICE News
Here and Ukrainian oligarch Dmitry Firtash, bought no less than the former station of the London Underground, and former son-Nazarbayev, and the son of the former head of Russian Railways Vladimir Yakunin Andrew, who in one of the most expensive areas of London, a short walk from Regent's Park, which -That incredible palace with eight bedrooms, a cinema and a wine cellar for 35 million pounds (3,396,596,892 rubles at today's exchange rate - yes, three billion-plus) as "investment property". That is, he's not even the lives - he lives in another house nearby, a little more modest, just something for some 10 million pounds. Here you can read more about this all to read. A really good investment - bought in 2013 for 23 million, and 15, this same house was worth 35 million pounds.
Here there is a reasonable question - and what business do some London-based activists and journalists before, how many bedrooms in the house, bought by some foreign wealthy person? The fact that the massive buying super-expensive real estate in London foreigners through murky offshore - is a problem that directly affects hundreds of thousands and millions of ordinary Londoners, that where there are 8 bedrooms - they are one and something has to spend 40-50, and sometimes longer and more percent of their salary. Prices of secondary real estate for five years jumped nearly doubled - I lived in London from 2009 to 2012, and during that time my first apartment increased in price from 800 pounds to 1000, now it is already 1500, and this without accounts council tax and other things with them all come out in 2000. And this is directly to blame for the mysterious foreign investors who buy bundles of freshly built apartments, which over the years are empty boxes and grow in value. There is a growing demand for real estate - are growing and prices for it. Therefore, for all these palaces Londoners post-Soviet, African and Arab officials - the problem is more urgent than ever.
In short, "Kleptotur" was a resounding success. Reporting to him are published all the leading London and international publications:
Mega-rich homes tour puts spotlight on London's oligarchs
It is London's biggest non-royal private home, a palace in Highgate with 28 bedrooms, a 40,000-sq-ft basement and ...
On the trail of suspicious money: it's the 'kleptocracy tour' of London | The Times
The route set out on a Monopoly board-style map of London's newest coach tour included the opulence of the capital's ...
I took a "Kleptocracy tour" around London and discovered the corruption capital
London is a globally leading city, bustling with culture and educational capital, a booming economy, and abiding by the ...
On Board the Russian Dissidents' 'Kleptocracy' Bus | VICE News
It was the British version of a Hollywood celebrity homes tour. A group of Russian activists, commentators, and ...
Do not stay aside and a small regional newspaper in Hampstead, Ham & High. They also published a report with the "Kleptotura", although from a journalistic point of view, this is not a masterpiece and not a candidate for the Pulitzer Prize - a retelling of the facts told by the activists.
And then the following occurs. Article from the Ham & High website disappears, instead of it appearing panic apology to Mr Yakunin, assurances that the property mentioned in the article, they acquired only by legal means, and that the paper is ready to bear all legal costs associated with the incident.
You've got to explain something. If you look at any index of press freedom - from Freedom House, or by "Reporters without borders" - the United Kingdom there has been steadily declining in recent years. In the ranking of "Reporters without borders" of the kingdom's position shifted by 4 points lower, and now occupies 38th place among the island nation of Tonga and South Africa.
Why is this happening? The fact is that London - the capital of the so-called "defamatory tourism". Local laws on defamation are arranged in such a way that the court win, if you are accused of libel, is almost impossible. If you want to know more, I even 5 years ago, wrote an article about it. Superrich foreigners in London serve not only to real estate agents, but also PR and lawyers of the most prestigious law firms, ready to immediately rush to the defense of the client's reputation. It happened with the Ham & High - Yakunin Jr. unleashed a newspaper his lawyers from the firm Mishcon de Reya. That is, he and the rest of the newspaper also unleashed - as soon as the first "Kleptotura" in February, newspaper editors, who sent their reporters to "Kleptotur" received such threatening letters from lawyers yakuninskih:
Organizers tours are accused that they are using smear information unleashed a campaign of harassment against the client Mishcon de Reya, Mr. Andrey Yakunin, and journalists threatened by different punishments, if they will spread this slander. But the editors of major newspapers laugh, threw the letters printed in the basket and their stories - let Yakunin Jr. goes to court and there is proof that its 8 bedrooms and a movie theater, he acquired on legal means. It is clear that Yakunin will not do this - whether there during the trial, it turns out a little. But a small newspaper yakuninskim lawyers succeeded in intimidating to such an extent that they not only removed the article and publish a refutation with an apology, but ... ran to erase the posts on Facebook! That's how I became a victim of the British censorship:
First facebook just deleted my post. And then all I blocked:
I asked for comments in the Ham & High editor, but there are swear and swear that block me no one was going, that they demand Mischcon de Reya only remove traces of the unfortunate article. And I already blocked by someone else already demand after I wrote about the blocking of the post. So it goes.
P.S. And the cherry on the cake in this story is a curious detail about lawyers Yakunin, company Mischcon de Reya. People from there sit on the boards of directors Yakunin Sr. funds. Here is a man of "Mishkon de Reye," advises the Foundation of St. Andrew:
He - is registered in Switzerland, "Dialogue of Civilizations" fund:
All these funds are needed for only one - to please tscheslavieya Yakunin Sr., who is very fond of, imposingly lounging in a chair, about to broadcast a special spiritual way of Russia and that it is necessary to protect the traditional values, which are threatened by non-traditional minorities.
At the same time one of the most important activities Mishcon de Reya, which they are very proud of - is the protection of LGBT rights:
"Mishkon de Reye 'engaged in very important issues, which are still, unfortunately, are relevant even for a developed country like the United Kingdom - the protection of homosexuals from all sorts of discrimination, including labor. Interestingly, Mr. Kassim Meghdzhi advising yakuninskie funds, say, if you first read one of the many statements of his client:
And then compare it with the news from Russia:
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It will take, I wonder, "Mishkon de Reye 'to protect them from discrimination, which, according to their wealthy clients in Russia does not exist?