Publication: Monitor Volume: 5 Issue: 34

The anonymous investigator from the Prosecutor General’s Office, who spoke with “Moskovskie vedomosti” about Yuri Skuratov’s resignation as chief of that office, also said that financier Boris Berezovsky’s arrest is imminent. According to the official’s account, the search earlier this month of the offices of Sibneft–the giant oil company reportedly controlled by Berezovsky–yielded evidence of close links between Roman Abramovich, Sibneft’s general director, and the Yeltsin family, and included “a photograph of Abramovich openly kissing the president’s daughter, Tatyana Dyachenko.” Last year, Aleksandr Korzhakov, who once headed Yeltsin’s presidential security service, claimed that Abramovich was the Yeltsin family’s “cashier.” Investigators reportedly also found US$8 million in Abramovich’s safe, “along with several files of compromising material,” aimed at, among others, Moscow Mayor Yuri Luzhkov.

“Moskovskie vedomosti” quoted the investigator as saying: “Berezovsky will not be at liberty much longer. A warrant for his arrest has already been drawn up. Moreover, at least five other major operations against corrupt officials are in the pipeline for the very near future. Even all these things put together, however, represent just a tiny proportion of what could be done in principle. We have too many highly placed people in this country who are, to put it bluntly, ‘dirty’. When relevant documentation came into my hands and those of other former Prosecutor-General’s Office members of staff a while ago, we were shocked–it was simply horrendous. If the documents were to be believed, there was hardly a single ‘clean’ person left in the top echelons of power. Virtually the only exception is Prime Minister Yevgeny Primakov.” The weekly said that the “purges” currently under way are the work of Deputy Prosecutor-General Mikhail Katyshev, who is known to be an ally of Viktor Ilyukhin (Moskovskie vedomosti, February 16-22).

The Prosecutor General’s Office denied that an order for Berezovsky’s arrest had been signed, calling the report a “provocation” (Center TV, February 16).