In a second controversy involving kompromat, the Moscow prosecutor’s office has stated that it has no incriminating evidence against Aleksandr Shokhin concerning allegations that he was involved in the 1994 murder of alleged Moscow mafia kingpin Otari Kvantrishvili. Shokhin, former economics minister, is now a State Duma deputy and a top member of Russia is Our Home. The allegations were made in the December issue of the monthly tabloid “Sovershenno Sekretno” (Top Secret), in an article written by crime reporter Larisa Kislinskaya. Kislinskaya based her article on what she said was a top secret document from the Interior Ministry containing the testimony of an alleged co-conspirator in Kvantrishvili’s murder. Kislinskaya said the police document quoted the alleged co-conspirator as saying that Shokhin and his brother, a businessman, were involved in the murder plot (see the Monitor, December 10, 1998).
The Moscow prosecutor’s office, at the request of Shokhin’s lawyer, Henry Reznik, looked into the matter and reported that while evidence had been given against Shokhin and his brother, the charge was never proved. In a subsequent newspaper interview, Reznik attacked Kislinskaya, calling her “the songbird of the special services… who deployed with total brilliance her crooked talent,” and saying that she was “the embodiment of squalor” in legal journalism and a “falsifier.” Shokhin, however, has apparently not filed suit against Kislinskaya, and Reznik, asked by a newspaper whether he plans to take her to court, refused to answer. Kislinskaya, meanwhile is preparing to sue Reznik for his comments about her (Kommersant daily, January 22).
NORWEGIAN MISSILE LAUNCH A “ROUTINE” EVENT THIS TIME.