The Sunday Show: Investigating High-Level Corruption in Eastern Europe


hello this is the sunday show dramatic

international the only primetime TV

program explaining is new European

geopolitical storm in English and I'm

Natalia hominy and welcome to our

special broadcast from Misha Harriet

this is the name of the residents of the

former ukrainian President Yanukovych

once it was the most guarded place in

the country the journalists were not

allowed to get in so every June the 6th

that is a day of journalism in Ukraine

media representatives were coming to the

gates to protest against suppression of

the freedom of speech yet after the

Revolution during the first days the

journalists went here and found a lot of

documents which were dumped into the

lake the media and investigative

reporters has saved that data and which

had become the evidence of high-level

high-level corruption Misha Hina has

become the symbol of corruption but it

had become open to the public so you can

see a lot of people spending their

weekends here yet this month June it's

also special because we are celebrating

the media freedom days here at Missouri

area so people coming from around the

region they are gathering for the

Missouri area fest where the journalists

together especially investigative

reporters from Eastern Europe discuss

together what they can do next and how

they can protect themselves and how they

work together in this new world with the

challenges and now there is a premise

for the investigative reporting festival

Majid EFS which is taking place already

for four years here it's not far from

Kiev and now there are not just the

Ukrainian reporters but also

international investigative reporters

because you know there is a lot we can

say about the international organized

crime and there is a lot to share it's

not the secret that in East

Europe investigative reporters were

always extremely important for promoting

democracy for keeping their governments

accountable when the other institutions

were not working so in today's special

broadcast of the sunday show we'll talk

to the Ukrainian I'm reporter Dennis B

Hughes who has recently just received a

prestigious democracy word international

award for fighting corruption in Ukraine

who let us know more on what's new in

this front in Ukraine I will talk to the

journalist from Russia who has done the

Panama papers story on Vladimir Putin

we'll go into details on how

international organization and companies

are working with the rich and extremely

corrupt governments in Central Asia and

Azerbaijan so this is just part of what

we are going to do stay tuned


another papers had been one of the

biggest international journalistic

investigation which was covering number

of governments politicians there was a

big buzz of the last year but we would

like to know what is the follow-up what

is changing and we talking to Paul Rada

who is the executive head of the Aussie

CRP project they started with

investigating corruption in the Balkans

in Eastern Europe than in Central Asia

and now this is a really global project

but of course Paul knows a lot about our

region but starting with the Panama

papers you know that is a story there is

a huge success

if we speak about the investigation but

now can we speak about the results about

the impact of that because you know

investigations today they are making a

lot of people kind of discouraged that

you know all the politicians are corrupt

and it leads to nowhere do we know about

the idea of any kind of things which led

to something which had brought

some positive results in courts and

elsewhere well you're right I mean

Panama Papers was all about the types of

the names involved you know including

names in in Ukraine and Russia and other

countries but really Panama papers is

about the whole system it's a rigged

system that was used by corrupt

politicians by criminals by

controversial businessmen to actually do

business to make money in an illegal way

so that is what what's changing with the

Panama papers project so right now it's

much harder for them to do business as

usual so I think that changed quite a

bit even if people were not sent to jail

as it happened in in a few other

countries in origin is harder to put

people in jail especially people in

power although in my country in Romania

that happens quite a lot lately for the

past few years but that the thing is you

know you gotta attack the system and

Panama papers highlighted expose the

system in its entirety so now it's much

harder for these people to use the same

mechanisms to do business so that's very

important and don't forget at the level

of the European Union there's an open

investigation into Panama papers

there's a group investigating officially

investigation investigating at the level

of the European Union and out of this

group there are a few ideas that came

out and that are are going to become

practice very soon and one is to create

a registry of beneficial ownership at

the level of the EU so no company can do

business in d-u without knowing who is

the real owner of the company and that's

very very important because that's

exactly how these criminals are these

corrupt politicians and businessmen do

business right now

by stealing you know European funds by

stealing national funds and all this and

secondly one one thing that people must

understand about Panama papers is that

this is a gift that keeps on giving

I mean Panama papers is not over even we

published in March of this year an

investigation that we titled the Russian

laundromat there is about more than 20

20 billion US dollars laundered via

banks in Moldova and in Latvia ending

you know connections to Ukraine a key

piece of information for that

investigation came from the Panama

papers database there's a lot a lot of

information there that is not explored

yet that it that will be explored you

know because journeys are working

actively so that's that's a place where

you keep on going to get information

this is why I say it's it's something

that that will probably never stop

because some of the information in power

papers can become relevant later in time

and that information coupled with other

leaks coupled with other databases can

create new investigative reporting and

it is creating new investigative

reporting in fact we're working right

now at an investigation that is III

think it's going to be quite impactful

that we're going to publish in the fall

and some of the information for this

investigation comes from Panama papers

as well as from other other sources when

we talk to a lot of journalists from the

region they said that you know they were

uncovering corruption before and there

was a high level of corruption over here

here in Missouri area where the

Ukrainian president used to live and you

know what we knew about that place was

thanks to the investigative reporters

but how their practices are changing

because what is what with the corrupt

officials and the criminals they are

adapt very fast assume you found

something you put a light on it they

find new ways so what are no new tricks

besides you know we new takes havens

that was the thing but now you know you

can dig into that so the thing is I mean

even with tax havens you know they are

still using the old tricks there are not

so many ways to go about corruption to

do corruption because you know in the

end it's about stealing money from

someone's pocket that's it you know your

abuse you're stealing money from the

citizens pocket so it's theft

it's simple theft you can put in between

Offshore's you can put you know better

shares companies and all this so these

tricks are still used and one of the

main things here is for instance at the

level of the European Union although the

European Union is investigating Panama

papers and it's taking all these action

against better shares and against you

know against offshore havens there are a

few countries inside the European Union

where you can create companies that

insure more secrecy than the companies

that were issue

that were established by Fonseca in

Panama so in my country in Romania there

are more than 300 companies that are

owned via better shares better shares

means you know a piece of paper where

you have a hundred shares in a company

whoever holds that piece of paper in

their hand is their company so if I gave

give you the piece of paper at your

company if I put it in my pocket is my

company without any other documents you

know attached to it you know so so these

are things that are ongoing right now in

the EU you know we don't need to go to

Panama papers we need to clean clean our

house first you know and so all the

politicians dirty politicians indie you

are using these tools you know so

outside of Panama papers there's a lot a

lot of work to be done for instance in

Austria you can establish pretty much

tifton's these private foundations that

can be used you know in various various

ways and I think actually materia here

was owned by a company connected to

River stiffness you know so so there are

various tricks that are still used by so

it's still the old tricks now there will

be new tricks you know so we see right

now money laundering our latest project

about the Russian laundromat about the

20 billion laundered we are banks in the

EU you know it targeted banks because

there are more than 500 banks involved

in you know dealing with this money and

now we have Bitcoin and Bitcoin it's

still a small part of the economy of the

world economy it's it's really really

small but if you'll crack down on banks

and this needs to happen you know lots

of criminals will probably move towards

Bitcoin you know so we see that you know

how that will go and then we have to

adapt early bit more and to use more

technology in our investigative

reporting to be able to expose this


Roma you investigation which was called

laundromat that was a investigation with

a number of media but you were working

with showed the how the money will

launder it through numbers of European

banks including the Moldovan banks and

it was like a huge amount of money up to

22 millions aspires remember million 22

billion of the US dollars so what is the

the result do we see what's going on

with this story well it depends on

different countries so let's say that

the main victim is Russia and there are

no any results because there were two

criminal cases started after our

investigation which started 3 years ago

and I was witness in both cases and I

saw that the investigators they didn't

want to do anything real let's say

because the criminal cases were started

by the lowest departments of the

Investigative Committee which means that

the Russian state was not really

interested in investigating the case but

he molten asleep now we had very good

results in other European countries so

there was an investigation started in

the UK and there were hearings in

Parliament and the Deputy Minister of

Finance had to explain you know why the

British banks and companies were

involved in this scheme simultaneously

there was a big case in Denmark and the

Prime Minister had to say that you know

he is he doesn't like the situation and

he's very sorry that it happened with

Danish banks and there is an ongoing

investigation as well and the latest

news is that two days ago actually I you

know I heard about it just today the

friend of mine Paul Ryder who was

involved in this in the investigation as

well told me that there is a commission

a special commission inside the European

Parliament which is called the Russian

one comment just as our story that they

will study the case and the main idea is

to understand why the European banks

were involved in the mind-wandering and

why their compliance procedures did not

work so of course the people could read

the full investigation and we would

encourage them again those who don't

know maybe but really who are the main

beneficiaries you know

in the end in this large scheme there

are many of them to be honest and so the

money was mixed the money from different

crimes was mixed so the biggest

beneficiary we were able to identify was

a mysterious businessman who is the main

contractor to the Russian Railways

League secret even and he was involved

in many I would say scandals and

criminal cases all over the world but

among others there were European parties

I mean pro-russian parties which got the


there were multinational corporations

like Siemens like Hitachi and others and

of course I mean it doesn't mean that

they were stealing the money from Russia

but it means that they were involved in

great import scheme so you can call them

the smuggling schemes to what extent the

big banks can control and if you

generally assess the situation you know

that there would be the big bank or

companies would have their smaller

companies in Estonia or the Baltics or

elsewhere so that's kind of a usual way

to launder the funds what depends on the

headquarters to what extent the

headquarters can and are eager to you

know to remain have a good reputation

and can say that now that was not us

right so look I mean an important word

you mentioned is whether they are eager

or not because on the one hand they are

not responsible for clients which are

out of their bank so they're responsible

just for the clients inside their banks

and they gotta check them they gotta

control them and so on but they did not

check clients which sent money to their

clients from foreign countries so from

foreign banks which was a problem in

laundromat case so what the big banks

said they said that you know I mean our

client was a key you know our client was

let's say Siemens but Siemens got money

from bogus companies shell companies

from notorious banks like drastic

immerse banker its license was revoked

recently from Madhavan Bank mod income

bank and so on so I would say that the

main problem here is the will if the

banks want to control the money flows

they don't want to be involved in his

big money laundering scandals then they

got a check not only their clients but

also the origin of the money which their

clients get regarding the country

Moldova had been particularly kind of in

the heart of it all and so that is very

special case when you have a small

country which is more or less you know

so many had been down through that

so really are you following the case

what's happening with this inlay be the

most involved country well look the main

problem here is that the main victim is

Russia and with money laundering cases

you always in order to prove minor one

drink you got to prove the first crime

because minor one drink is always the

second crime so in order to prove minor

one drink you got to prove the predicate

so the first crime and murder was

Moldovans the the main problem with them

was that they couldn't get any talks and

help from Russia so they were asking for

help they were begging for help and they

got nothing with the results the

investigation have become international

the journalistic investigation but how

about the law enforcement are they still

in our region in Eastern Europe are able

to investigate something on their own

and other things moving in in that

direction well they are let's say that

in Russia the case was pretty well

investigated by the operatives from FSB

they did a really good job but when it

came to a criminal case itself because

you know that before starting a criminal

case you got to do a lot of job in terms

of proving the crime and so on so before

the criminal case they did a really good

job the same in Moldova but when it came

to criminal case which means punishment

for people involved then the problem

start because you know in this

particular case some big names were

involved including including eager Putin

who is he's not brother-in-law I don't

remember well his relative to the

president eager to Redeemer pudding and

some people from FSB were involved as

well so when it comes to a criminal case

people are not so eager I mean the law

enforcement and also we get to

investigate them to up to the end

because otherwise they would need to

imprison those who are in power so there

is always a question how difficult is

really to investigate food

you know and what we really know because

I think there is a will of the reporters

to find out something well we know a lot

but the problem is when you see proving

things putting in smart you will never

sign any dog and you will never sign any

financial records and so on so here's a

smart guy so in terms of proving you

know we've proved a lot a lot with

Panama papers and with a lot dogging

case because in my opinion it's not

religions money it's Putin's money and

we we had a lot of collateral proof to

say that but I mean yeah you're right

you know there is no any signature by

putting there is no any signature by

anybody else from his family because

there are smart people you know but you

know if we think as law enforcement we

see that there is a bunch of proofs we

couldn't find a man with a gun you know

who she could shot somebody but you know

we could find witnesses who say that

they saw him we could find a wiretap and

so on and so forth the same ways

financial crimes you know we all you

will not find a dog signed by the

president but you'll find many other

dogs signed by people who are close to

him yes you've just received the pretty

prestigious international award for

democracy that was for the

anti-corruption fighters so you're doing

the investigative program here in

Ukraine which is extremely popular and I

hope and can say to some extent

effective we're speaking about Ukraine

in 2017 and you know there is something

in that that still the investigative

journalist from Ukraine received the

international awards for fighting

corruption so what are the probably the

key cases the most important things in a

way how corruption is done today we have

only one thing that they actually have a

possibility to still it always people's

money I mean if you talk about some

budget if you talk about some rules in

the country there is just

no nothing else so I'm not sure that for

now tactically we have some difference

between times four years ago that's

still some public procurement schemes

that steals some monopolies who

controlled sectors of economy the

difference is that for now we have

something that I can call corruption

competition I mean at the unacknowledged

time there was a solid pyramid of

corruption yeah so any official was in

in this in this system and today's we

have a lot of fun I'll say a lot of

wings yeah a lot of groups that have

some capital competition between them

and this is really helpful can I speak

about some particular spheres industries

because you know somehow my guess would

be from what I'm following that

somewhere it's cleaner more transparent

but that's where there are less money

you know like or like on the health care

there would be the small corruption with

the people paying but then there would

be fields which are really still are

very very close and industries we talk a

lot about transparency and transparency

by itself it's not about corruption yeah

I mean for now we have a lot of some

transparent sectors and we think that I

don't know corruption in this sector

we've gone even bigger than in previous

times it's not true because we just we

just see more transparency can't work

without some judicial system and that's

a problem for all of us because we for

now we

a lot and still can do not so much if we

talk about industry its but no it's for

now I think it's the same it's a heavy

industry it's a bank sector it's maybe

all that have any touch to state

monopolies and it's Ukrainian railways

as it is I think we have better

situation for now in oil and gas system

yeah that I saw very smart taps in

Naftogaz I saw a lot of good steps in

gas sector meaning good steps to become

more transparent and least less corrupt

or okay that that's not about

transparency yeah one with no when we

talk about how about oil sector and

about gas sector that's more about just

smart management decision they don't

increase transparency level they

increase economic level and they


competition on this field are there any

particular cases where you have seen

that the there was a result that the law

enforcement was involved and the people

the those about whom you were

investigating your team had been

investigating that they've been at least

persecuted and where it's extremely

difficult to see though the results are

obvious you talk about example for last

month I think we push three Criminal

Procedure against but kushina's party

against the Lashkar in touch with his

illicit enrichment and against official

from from tax department but the biggest

problem in that if we'll talk about some

results yeah we have much more we have

more results when we don't need to

connect with the prosecutor's office or

with the course I mean if you want to

cancel some public procurement you have

to just wrote about it and someone in

this department who control this

procurement usually just cancel it

because nobody wants any problem if you

need to start any criminal case and how

they add any

official investigation okay

that's a problem look the last one we

here at Michigan the four main lukovitch

residents but rather the general

question there was a lot of confuses and

when we have seen the papers of previous

president and there were a lot of you

know a lot of journalistic cases the

investigation had a good had good

chances to be investigated though is

most even the political wheel by the

Ukrainian opposition at that time it

looked like back then to investigate

their opponents you know form a party of

region and the others we can go into

details but in generally how do you see

that at least I can see any moves in on

this way our present officials make a

very sweet photo with the former

officials from Yanukovych time yeah

that's big

I'd say big 100 persons nothing I can

explain that yeah it just not there

really you know you can't have their

direct link that I don't president has a

connection to that you know guy from the

party of region there is not that

obvious thing to say that there have

anything I'm speaking about the top

official that they have a common

business or something and baby I know

political evidence but why not

you see if all your economy based on

maybe 1000 people they always connected

one with another maybe it's not so an

obvious like the co-founders in some


but Ukrainian economy it's not big role

yeah I mean and it's extremely

monopolized and in any moment any money

bag have some connection with everyone

so I think you know we have to look on

this not like on the network of some

connections here without some separate

connections but look with like a one big

bunch of connections and shared money in

very small different in economy but

Allah silica is the anchor and the

editor-in-chief of one of the most

popular and and impactful investigative

programs scheme for the Radio Free

Liberty and have been investigating a

lot of high-level corruption in Ukraine

here so vitally you know we know here at

Missouri area fest

trying to assess some of the phenomenon

so now how is it for your team working

what are they how the corruption in

Ukraine has changed and the work of the

journalists you have your program and

your journalists the court cases with

the security service and you know you do

have a difficulties today what are they

and what we need to know about how the

corruption changed here sure the

corruption changed we could say that

under Yanukovych regime corruption

schemes were much simpler and on one

hand it was easier to investigate them

now corruption schemes are more

complicated but at the same moment it

was we were able with the help of of

this civil society and like civil

organizations we were able to enclose

this close the public registries so


it made us it made easier for us to

uncover this corruption because we've

got open register of companies open

registry of assets of Land Registry and

so on so it's it's much much easier to

investigate but now politicians and

corruption errors they just hide it

better do you know any particular let's

say industry you know which are probably

the most closed where it's the hardest

to dig the contract army contracts are

very closed and it's really hard to

investigate procurements for for the

Ministry of Defense but also if we if we

talk we're the most corrupted spheres I

would say that it is state companies

state-owned companies so it's not like a

budget of some ministry but its state

companies which are throughout Ukraine

and are still owned by the government

you your journalists had been you know

followed by the Security Service also

there is a you know a deformation

campaign against you against some of the

your team reporters so really how how

does it impact your work and really what

our current you know your relations with

the state with the law enforcement yes

so the secret the security service of

Ukraine is the structure which is still

unreformed and it's still very very

close to a contrary of other

law-enforcement agencies they haven't

published publicly their assets

declaration just and the law says that

they should have published them so now

it's it is still the law enforcement

structure that is really hard to

investigate their potential corruption

inside of the structure that's why we

are looking very closely into them into

into the workers that are working there

we have heard so many complaints on one

specific Department of security service

of Ukraine it's called

Nicolle department they have to defend

economy of Ukraine so we heard from

business and entrepreneurs so many

complaints on this department that they

are just simply you know like starting

to a criminal case and then by paying

money this criminal case will be closed

and so on so that we thought how can we

prove in any kind in any way this so we

simply went to this department and we

put a camera and we were filming what

cars these people that are working in

this department are using and these

people are making about probably not

more than four or five hundred dollars

per month but they are driving cars

starting from twenty thirty forty and

fifty thousand dollars their cars are

much more expensive that they could

afford by their governmental salary and

just we sent a request secret is to

security service of Ukraine asking

saying that we're going to publish this

report are going to comment on this

before publishing they haven't responded

and imagine just one hour prior to our

program on air we receive a letter from

security service of Ukraine which says

that if you're going to publish this

story in this way this there there there

will be criminal responsibilities by

your journalists because we are Secret

Service and it's not allowed to publish

information about our our employees

after that we published this story

because I thought that they were just

trying to threaten us because what they

do not want is to publish the

information not about their secret

agents there was no secret agents in our

story but they don't want to publish

information that these people somehow

are making much more money unofficially

I would say dispute between civil

society activists and some people from

the government we would be blamed like

grant eaters there is Ukrainian term or

those who like pan occurs so the people

who are not seeing the direct

good result sometimes trying just to see

the bad side of the government you know

make which especially this time make

Ukrainians very depressed and you know

under estimating the good things which

are done sometimes by the government in

a very difficult times at the time of

the war Russia so you know like because

I know like the more corruption we show

there would be more funds coming for our

companies what are you saying that

discussion and you know like aren't

really we are you know seeing just the

bad things and not mentioning the good

things I think it's a role of

investigative journalism to criticize

the government and to find facts you

know that have have been wanted to be

hided you know to to uncover such facts

it's just a role we do not we do not

have to say about like good things only

you know we have to uncover bad facts

that's true but I think that all these

agenda that it's not patriotic to

criticize the government it's inspired

by corruption errs mainly who just want

to the system to not change you were

working a lot with international

companies on the money laundering

schemes and so in then there was always

and still we understand that a lot of

money laundering may take place because

there other Western companies there are

takes Haven and the some of the

government they are cover they let those

schemes to take place do we see any

development and do we see that you know

in the end you're all investigation

could be you know could end in something

and there would be some results the

court the convictions absolutely there

are already results yes of course people

don't get directly to jail right after

the investigation there should be some

process but also there is no straight

effect from investigative journalism and

especially on countries like Ukraine but

there I would say major impact of that

is that after some of after some stories

we've got new

legislation adopted let's say public

registries are open electronical a

declaration is a lawyer's adopted

actually the National anti-corruption

Bureau was also created because it was a

long history of investigating corruption

and a lot and not only of course but

it's a small piece of it but still I

think it's a result in strategical

result and not first result mainly but

if we talk about more international

aspect and especially on offshore

problem I have a personal experience and

personal story because two years ago I

was in Great Britain taking part in two

British investigative documentary about

the dirty money flowing into London

through offshore companies like

corruption airs like ukrainian-russian

corruption are purchasing real estate

and on on the name of companies offshore

companies and nobody know who the real

owner is so this documentary got big

impact in in in the ingre in the UK and

after that the some legislation was

adopted in the UK and it says that you

have to disclose who who the real owner

is and this campaign on disclosing

offshore anonymity is going through the

whole world there are a new few new

initiatives regarding disclosing of

public registries in many many countries

also in offshore world so I think it's a

good tendency and there is a development


Myranda you are the original editor for

OCR Pierre organized crime and

corruption reporting project and you are

dealing with Azerbaijan and Central Asia

which really the there is no secret this

is authoritarian regimes in general we

know that there is corruption there

there is no really democratic process to

that the corruption would influence the

society but really what are the stories

we're working now what it developed and

what is the recent development we follow

you know the really very tragic cases of

the persecution of death by january

Porter's we hear less about the Central

Asia though we know that people are

pushed away from the region those who

are investigating well in terms of

Central Asia any journalists that really

did any stories that authorities didn't

agree with are already you know they

have already left the country and this

is something that's been going on for

you know five ten years so it's not new

I think what's happening in the sebacean

now is the real crackdown that took

place many years ago in Central Asia

these countries are operating in

complete impunity you know what you know

here is you know judiciary police

independence doesn't exist there you

will be framed with you know illegal

drugs or you will be just accused as a

journalist for talking a policeman and

that will take you for a month in jail

so and then then you know you can be

charged with corruption or with legal

work and that could be you know years

long sentences I think what's also going

on is that authorities are cracking down

on access to information so even where

you had the ability to report and obtain

documents it's now becoming increasingly

difficult the media of clothes are being

closed down in Azerbaijan the most

recent thing is that for example our

ferl as every service is not allowed

basically the reps

is blocked so they can't even you know

reach the audience inside the country so

the authorities are really working very

hard to shut down any kind of in the

point independent voice or any kind of

criticism of their actions so for

instance in particular with Azerbaijan

in case of Aliyah

no there were so much evidence

international evidence and we speaking

about a really really big money because

this is an oil-rich country so really

one of the things we can you know tell

because it's kind of yeah he's corrupt

it there but what are the ways really to

do something with that you know maybe

there are some times the involvement of

the Western companies which are more

transparent and sometimes you can you

know find something and how do you see

the reaction of the of the you know

let's say international law enforcement

which might somehow find something that

there would be at least you know at

least any I wouldn't say punishment but

at least any no result any procedure any

investigation well Azerbaijan is it's

very good in to bribing their own way

into US and EU I mean when the President

Trump was inaugurated one of the first

the clients in his hotel was actually as

Abidjan embassy who paid for a lavish

party on the day of integration

they have been bribing you know EU

officials it's it's a well known case of

MP well auntie from Italy who has

received money to basically support

Azerbaijan you know for a long time as

Abba John was putting a fake bait face

with your European Union saying go we

want to be close to you we want to

cherish European values and then on the

other sound they have been slowly

cracking down on journalists and

activists and so on other problem is

that yes it is a very oily rich country

in European and US companies have

massive interests in Azerbaijan there is

a lot money to go around and I think

part of the problem is that in you know

from the European perspective what you

see is a very rich family you know

buying property

in London opening exhibitions you know

they ran a massive Foundation which has

been building statutes all over Europe

paying a lot of money so what they see

is you know richness and influence and

they don't really care about and they

don't know about corruption and how

regular people live and is any movement

of the Western governments because you

know we are speaking about running we're

dramatical we as a Ukrainian

investigative journalist

we're you know who had to be interested

in the corruption in the region because

it's so connected started to raise the

issue we are following to the commands

of the foreign governments the bank

officials who say that you know there

should be more transparency in money

laundering but do you feel there is any

kind of movement and among among some of

the politicians there would be some who

are really eager to fight those on the

European and international level I think

all the reporting about especially at

each case of a DJ swallower who was

jailed for 7 years and released after a

huge international pressure basically is

opening eyes in Europe and people are

more skeptical at least about Azerbaijan

and the first family of Azerbaijan I

think what we need to do very often in

countries like Azerbaijan Central Asia

you know average people in our countries

don't know how bad these countries are

what they see is a postcard perfect

images of you know huge glass buildings

the richness the world but they don't

see the real life of Azzurri people and

I think we as a journalist we need to

speak about it and show the true picture

I think there are also consequences I

mean we did one of the stories about the

gold mine that was owned by the first

family it turned out the family couldn't

sell their gold because it became

publicly known that they were behind the

gold mine so they have they were forced

to you know pass on that business and I

think that showed that there are

consequences and I think more reporting

we do the more effect it will have

if we speak about Central Asia there are

because they are not so trying to reach

the West they are not so you know

probably well known so there is

not that much international interest but

we speak about Turkmenistan which is one

of the closest countries globally

Tajikistan Kazakhstan Kyrgyzstan and

Uzbekistan yeah

they have really different things in

there but what are really the stories to

follow you know Kyrgyzstan is Sami

democracy Tajikistan I think things are

getting worse there what we know with

the family and he's I don't know son who

might become the president in couple of

years and currently the mayor of the

capital we had a story of the Uzbek East

on where we have cream of as the

probably the dictator of the region who

passed away last year but still you know

so that's maybe confusing for a lot of

people but I think it's very important

that these stories are becoming

prominent so would you you know let us

know bit in some of the stories to

follow in this region well I I think you

know Central Asia is actually where we

can have an effect we've done a lot of

stories in the past couple of years

basically proving Western companies

paying massive bribes in order to enter

the market in you knows Beca Stan enter

the markets in Tajikistan because this

is a big market with a lot of money to

be made and every Western company

basically have their fingers on it and

they want to make money and I think the

good thing about our part of the world

is there is a rule of law and now if our

company goes and bribes some official in

Tajikistan in Uzbekistan the authorities

here will react and we really define the

company or they might be even a

persecution I think in case of ganado

karim OA which i worked on together with

SAT yes she is the former yeah she you

know she's now in the house arrest

people who worked with her who are

laundering money for her a role jailed

in Uzbekistan the US authorities are

looking for to recover more than billion

dollar you know Tilia scenario will be

find probably about eight hundred

million dollar or over a billion dollar

for bribing the regime wimple calm has

already been fined hundreds of millions

of dollars so I think there are

consequences and I think you know the

way we what

can do is you know somebody in

Uzbekistan doesn't care about keeping

money in Uzbekistan you know they're not

stealing in order to own a massive

palaces they're what they're stealing

for is in order to you know have Palace

in France in the UK in Hong Kong in the

plan you're invested in this is they're

also places where they'll keep their

money so as long as we watch out for

this report about corruption report

about the bribe there is a chance that

that money will be recovered for the

people looking more details on the

development in Tajikistan because this

is probably the least covered country is

the poorest you know there is some

speculative you know Kyrgyzstan the

journalist still can travel there whose

bukistan is also a very you know rich in

terms of resources Kazakhstan is trying

to get for investment with their gas

companies but these come to where really

for a lot of time have been ignored

because it's poor it doesn't have that

much oil reserve but that's what we know

that it's really now when they're more

and more journalists kicked out and

there is some kind of the even the worse


well Tajikistan you know President has

many daughters and those donors are a

husband yes and no be annoying and

anytime you do the investigation about

one daughter yes then you know the

president is very sensitive about his

daughters but even more about the son

in-laws who are basically running the

business and what we have done you know

did these people you know one son-in-law

will own literally his own Empire and

thus Empire would control you know a

huge percentage of the economy it's

going to range from the mine still you

know even you know issuing car license

plates in the country so basically you

have one family which is trying to

control the whole country okay so keep

up the good work I think it's really you

know I mean being a Ukrainian we know

how difficult is sometimes to raise an

international attention when it's needed

because you know it's not just about

them but about the fact that I mean the

money i laundered elsewhere and you

still expect from the West some standard

if you speak about well using a rule of


really then you you see the central asia

where you know even we don't pay enough

attention to explain what's happening

well as a journalist it's a fascinating

region for me

you know in my part of the world is

somebody steals a million you think it's

a big deal in that part of the world

people stealing billions and you know i

and and they do it so bluntly and

without even trying to hide they act as

you know there is nobody who will ever

do anything to them I do think it's also

the interesting thing because you know

the the region is still a sphere of

influence of Russia so there is a you

know the Western companies trying to

come but therefore it's not so under the

security of the foreign reporters as

some others region where there is a long

history of the Western companies working

that is true I mean foreign reporters

are normally not allowed in and then if

you do if you are allowed in the country

you will be followed and I think we do

more damage than good by basically for

example working with the local reporters

who then get harassed and in a lose job

or are suffering in other ways I think

you know those of the countries were

Secret Service's conducting massive

surveillance they are monitoring all the

communications you know your hotel might

be bugged you might have a camera in

your hotel so the Western reporter you

need to be extremely careful what you do

and how you act


it's Katya investigative reporter from

the Washington Post and you were dealing

with the difficult cases of

investigating your own security service

homeland security in the u.s. Abu Ghraib

so you know this isn't especially the

Abu Ghraib story it's kind of an old

story so we knew that there was abuse by

the the US Army in the prison in Iraq if

you speak about the investigation of the

Abu Ghraib you know that was kind of

like game changer because there was

still when one day this story had been

brought to the light well there was the

you know still the u.s. tried to play

the signal vividly the good power which

you know try to you know we speak about

the freedom sprig and speaking about the

democracy and it was kind of an evidence

you know that what how many wrongdoings

the Bush administration had been doing

there later there was a Guantanamo but

with this kind of investigation what was

the infant had it changed the way the

the army operating especially in the

sensitive cases of dealing with the

suspect terrorists you know what I still

the practices which are existing at war

maybe the government had to respond and

to stop the our investigation showed

that the the abuse at Abu Ghraib and

Guantanamo Bay was much deeper and bro

and was previously disclosed so the

administration at the time said that the

Abu Ghraib abuses and the abuses at

Guantanamo or isolated incidents and

they were confined to just a small band

of army men and women but that wasn't

really the case and when we were able to

get access to all the documents and all

the photographs and the internal

investigations we quickly realized that

this was part of a concerted effort by

the military and by the CIA to to break

down these detainees and to try to get

as much information as possible out of

them pleaded with us not to publish it

they believed that the military was

going to be at risk if we publish this

information and we decided to go ahead

and publish it because we believe that

that what the military was doing a lot

of the military lawyers and a lot of

people in the military felt that that

across the line and that by torturing

detainees was a violation of the Geneva

Conventions and by doing that that we

were putting our own servicemen and

women at risk if they ever got caught or

captured that they would be tortured as

well so in a way we felt that we were

doing the public service by exposing

this were the people punishing them you

know they're there because there is

always the case there is a big story in

the media there are a lot of talks and

then there is a long court hearing and

sometimes these cases are kind of

dropped from public memory right so a

small band of people were convicted of

crimes for abusing the prisoners but the

people up the chain of command were

not held accountable and to this day

they've never been held accountable I

think it's absolutely outrageous because

these are the people who were

responsible for the command and control

of Abu Ghraib they're responsible for

the men and women under their command

and they should be held accountable just

like anybody else should be held

accountable are there any tools which

you are following that the law

enforcement agencies could really

implement in order to be more

accountable we meet be more transparent

it's really the the difficult situation

we understand we have we are in a

country in war in a war where there is a

security threat where you people you

definitely sometimes talking to I mean

the criminals or suspect terrorists so

there is a chance to cross the line so

what a practices maybe had been enforced

and might be enforced this line it's

more difficult for them to cross we have

whistleblower protections in in our

country so whistleblower is somebody who

comes forward blows the whistle and says

I am witness to crime I'm a witness to

wrongdoing on witness to corruption and

so we have some processes that are in

place that protect people who do that in

the military they're there they're not

that strong and so I think strengthening

those protections so that it not only

encourages people to come forward when

they see wrongdoing but protects them

from retaliation when they come forward

and report wrongdoing how come on is the

practice of the cover-up in law

enforcement how come on is this idea of

we still blowing the officer would you

know cover the soldier and the general

would cover the officer the person who

who reported the Abu Ghraib abuse was

not protected and and he his life was

threatened he had to move his family he

had to leave the town that he grew up in

so his identity was actually disclosed

by the then secretary of

of the the defense hopefully we've

learned from that and we protect these

people it's really important to protect

them and they come forward you know how

would you explain the relations of your

investigative union of you know washing

box investigative unit with the you know

the security services like NSA papers

like The Washington Post they

independent but they're close to

government the government usually need

them you have the press Corp you do the

lot of stories you need to have the you

know the interview the top officials so

at the same time they need these papers

at the same time there is an

investigative unit which digs into this

heart of the system and does something

they would really dislike so there is

this kind of a general brand of

Washington Post and investigative unit

so how you build the relations our

newsroom is completely independent of

the government yeah and we do not

cooperate with them we do not share

information with them we see ourselves

as a check and balance on the power of

the government none of our reporters

would ever compromise their positions or

their integrity to get access to a story

and if somebody doesn't want to give us

access to something and they want

something in return we don't do deals

like that we will walk away from it and

if somebody denies us access sometimes

it's almost a badge of honor and we are

able to get the information

other ways the security service always

put this argument that it's about

security how you answer this question

for yourself whether the cases where you

have doubts who doing danger really you

know are you going too far how you and

your journalist what are red lines for

you so it is a balancing act and so we

always listen very carefully to the

intelligence services and sometimes the

White House will contact our top editors

sometimes the head of the CIA or NSA

will contact our top editors in the case

of Abu Ghraib the Secretary of Defense

and his people contacted our top editors

and so we will always listen to them

we'll ask them why they believe that the

disclosure of this information is

perilous to maybe people in the field

maybe it would expose methods and

sources maybe it might expose

intelligence agents and get them killed

you know we obviously don't want to do

anything that's going to expose ongoing

investigations and or expose

intelligence sources so we'll always

listen to them and then we decide what

we think is the most important thing

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