Posts Tagged ‘israel’

April 2013

Russian oligarch resigns from parliament after National Post investigation reveals Israeli citizenship, Canadian assets

National Post

A Russian oligarch who has maintained high-level influence in Moscow since the close of the Cold War resigned his seat in Russian parliament Tuesday after the National Post revealed he held dual citizenship and had extensive assets in Canada.

Vitaly Malkin tried for almost 20 years to relocate to Canada, investing millions in Toronto, but had been turned away over alleged ties to organized crime. During his failed immigration process he told Canadian officials he had Israeli citizenship and extensive foreign investments.

The Post revealed his past on March 5 and the news ignited a storm of controversy in Moscow because Russian law bars lawmakers from holding dual citizenship and owning undeclared foreign investments.

Mr. Malkin, once listed as one of the world’s wealthiest men, held a seat in the Russian upper house since 2004.

In announcing his resignation from the senate, Mr. Malkin said he has done nothing wrong. He told Russian media he no longer holds Israeli citizenship and was resigning to protect the image of the senate.

“The main accusation is that I was an Israeli citizen in the capacity of the senator,” Mr. Malkin said, according to Itar-Tass, a Russian state news agency. He said he renounced his Israeli citizenship after the rules on holding foreign citizenship changed and before he embarked on another term in senate.

“As far as I understand, I am not an Israeli citizen since August 2007,” he said.

Mr. Malkin said he was the victim of a smear campaign by foreigners motivated by his controversial lobbying in Washington, D.C., this summer against the Magnitsky Act, a U.S. law imposing sanctions against Russian officials involved in the 2009 death of Sergei Magnitsky.

(Mr. Magnitsky was a Russian lawyer who accused government officials of corruption on behalf of American investor Bill Browder, head of Hermitage Capital Management. His death in Russian custody is a source of significant friction between the U.S. and Russia.)

Read More →

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Google Buzz
  • LinkedIn
  • Google Bookmarks
  • Yahoo! Buzz
  • Tumblr
  • StumbleUpon
  • FriendFeed
  • NewsVine
  • Digg