According to an Israeli business newspaper, Vladimir Gusinsky, head of the embattled Media-Most holding, plans to file a complaint with Israeli prosecutor’s office and police against President Vladimir Putin, Press Minister Mikhail Lesin and Gazprom-Media head Alfred Kokh. The Israeli paper, Business Arena, reported that Gusinsky will accuse the three of extortion, charging that they fabricated criminal charges against him and arranged his arrest and brief incarceration earlier this year in order to force him to sell his media holding and thereby end his criticism of the government. The paper also reported that Gusinsky, who holds dual Russian-Israeli citizenship, sold part of his stake in Media-Most to an unnamed Israeli company to prevent the Russian government from getting hold of the shares. Meanwhile, Gusinsky’s lawyer, Pavel Astakhov, said yesterday that his client might return to Moscow at the end of this week to appear for questioning at the Prosecutor General’s Office. This office has again summoned the media magnate to appear for questioning, this time in connection with a complaint by Gazprom, Media-Most’s main creditor, that the media holding earlier this year transferred assets abroad, including those put up as collateral for loans provided by Gazprom. The Prosecutor General’s Office is investigating whether the alleged transfer constituted fraud. Astakhov said he feared that Gusinsky might be arrested again and thus would council his client not to return to the Russian capital (Russian agencies, October 12).
TERRORIST BOMBING KILLS FIFTEEN IN THE CHECHEN CAPITAL.