EL PAIS ordered to retract Vladimir Kokorev money-laundering allegations
Moscow’s Lyublinsky court has ordered EL PAIS to retract its article, written by journalist Jose Maria Irujo, in which it accuses Vladimir Kokorev of laundering funds for the government of Equatorial Guinea.
The Russian Legal Information Agency (RAPSI) has reported that Spanish Newspaper, EL PAIS, has been ordered to retract its article in which it attempts to implicate Vladimir Kokorev, a Russian national living in Spain, in an alleged money-laundering scheme for various high-ranking Equatorial Guinean officials, including President Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo.
The decision, handed down by Moscow’s Lyublinsky District Court, refers specifically to an article written by journalist Jose Maria Irujo and published by EL PAIS under the headline “Exposing the Obiang Clan’s Figurehead”, which contains a reference to a fictitious police report alleging that the anti-corruption division of the Spanish police have been investigating Vladimir Kokorev and his wife Julia Kokoreva and their supposed involvement in a money-laundering operation. Spanish police have refuted EL PAIS’ claim by issuing a certificate, which was submitted to the court, confirming that neither Mr. Kokorev nor anyone from his family have ever been part of a police investigation in Spain.
This ruling comes on the heals of another ruling handed down by the courts in April of this year to Spain’s other leading newspaper, EL MUNDO, when it was ordered to refute similar accusations of Vladimir Kokorev and his wife Julia, whereby it claimed that they had participated in the laundering of 26,483,982 EURO belonging to the government of Equatorial Guinea.
The media source reported how Mr. Kokorev had supposedly made several real estate acquisitions in Spain (mainly Madrid, Asturias and the Canary Islands) with funds from a Santander Bank account belonging to Vladimir Kokorev’s company “Kalunga” on behalf of the Equatorial Guinean President.
During the course of those hearings it was established that neither the Spanish nor US authorities had any claims whatsoever against the government of Equatorial Guinea or Vladimir Kokorev’s company. Furthermore, it was determined that the funds received by “Kalunga” in the aforementioned account were attained in full accordance with signed agreements between Kalunga and the Guinean government for the repairs and maintenance of a number of shipping vessels. The court also concluded that the rest of the so-called “information” published by “EL MUNDO” was simply invented by the articles’ author.
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