The poison in the system

The British government is hiding controversial information that Alexander Perepilichny, financier, revealed numerous financial crimes Russian officials — was probably killed on the direct orders of Vladimir Putin.

In 2012, Perepilichny, who after fleeing to the UK has faced repeated death threats, was found dead near his home in Surrey after returning from a mysterious trip to Paris. Although one expert found in his stomach deadly poison of plant origin, the British police have insisted that no evidence of violent death was not, and the government Theresa may used their powers in the area of national security with the aim of concealing the facts of the investigation of the causes of his death — and it still continues.

But BuzzFeed News has obtained new evidence that was deliberately pushed by the authorities on the long-range plan, and learned how Perepilichny spent his last days in Paris. Secret documents and interviews with more than a dozen current and former intelligence officers and law enforcement agencies of the United States, France and Britain revealed the following:

• American spies said that gave the MI-6 precision-guided intelligence that Perepilichny was probably “killed on the direct orders of Putin or close to it people” and criticized the British police for “botched” the investigation.

• In a secret report on Russian political murders compiled last year by the office of the Director of National intelligence for the U.S. Congress, said that the murder Perepilichny was a “high degree of confidence” sanctioned by Russian President Vladimir Putin.

• French police are treating the death as a financier allegedly organized murder, but claims that British colleagues have repeatedly created obstacles in this matter.

• Shortly before his death Perepilichny went to Paris for a secret rendezvous with a 22-year-old Ukrainian by the name of Elmira Medynska, which gave BuzzFeed News exclusive interview, while neither the British nor the French police never interrogated.

The UK government has refused to comment on revelations before the investigation Perepilichny — judicial investigation to determine the cause of his death was the verdict, and the Russian Embassy in London to BuzzFeed News questions not answered. But Theresa may will face, probably, with questions about his role in covering up evidence of the Russian murder on British soil amid growing international concern brazen Kremlin’s meddling in the Affairs of the West. The Prime Minister instructed the government to provide failure to provide documents in the case Perepilichny for reasons of national security, and the Ministry of interior provided control over the police, who eventually concluded that the death of the whistleblower was not suspicious.

Former MI6 counter-terrorism structure and police officers expressed surprise at the refusal of the British authorities to authorize a comprehensive investigation into the death of Perepilichny. “It is absolutely obvious that this murder, says the former head of the national security Agency to combat terrorism Chris Phillips. It could only be a contract killing. Ridiculous.” The former head of Scotland Yard said that the position the police were “very disturbing.” But during the inquest last week, the senior post official, appearing in the case Perepilichny, who had already retired, came into conflict with the official police version and said that it changed point of view and considers the death of financier suspicious.

On the other side of the Atlantic ocean, the five existing high-ranking officials of US intelligence has warned that Britain is unable to cope with the increased threat from an emboldened Russia and three of them even criticized the British law enforcement agencies. “The Kremlin over the last few years has stepped up efforts to eradicate and subdue your enemies abroad — especially in Britain,” reported BuzzFeed News a senior U.S. intelligence officer. The second active intelligence officer said that “incompetent” British police “must answer for their actions and be held accountable” for the closure of the investigation into the death Perepilichny.

Buzzfeed News has confirmed that British intelligence agencies were secretly obtained from the US intelligence that Perepilichny’s death connected with the Kremlin. But officers of MI6, agreed with this conclusion, according to the third official employee of American intelligence, forced, apparently, to shut up, because “their desire to publicly announce that Perepilichny was murdered on British soil, had a more profound political consequences.”

© Photos used in the book Gennady Sokolov Emblem of British intelligence MI-6

The US and Britain stated that the British government did not want to inflame diplomatic tensions with Russia. The decision to accuse two employees of the Russian secret services of poisoning by a radioactive substance KGB defector Alexander Litvinenko in London in 2006 provoked a 10-year standoff with the Kremlin. Several officials said that the British government was particularly keen to keep the flow of Russian investments in London banks and real estate.

Concerned about the increasingly bold steps of Russia in the West, the US Congress asked one of the senior executives of the intelligence services of America to prepare a top-secret report “on the use of political assassinations as a form of state policy of the Russian Federation” since Putin came to power (he was presented in 2016). Two employees of US intelligence, told BuzzFeed News that the report prepared by the office of the Director of National intelligence (ODNI), with the assistance of the CIA and the NSA, with “a high degree of confidence” States that Perepelichny killed at the behest of the Kremlin. Citing “difficulties of classification”, the representative of the ODNI assured that the Agency makes no comments, besides the fact that they prepared a report to Congress, as the representative of CIA has refused to comment on the issues related to exploration.

BuzzFeed News has learned that in France, the authorities described the case as a suspected organized murder. French police were trying to figure out whether Perepilichny was poisoned during a visit to Paris, but four senior French law enforcement agencies said that the British authorities, these efforts repeatedly thwarted.

French officials claimed that the British had not given them any evidence, insisting that Perepilichny’s death was not suspicious and called the Paris police to await the outcome of the inquiry, which was postponed for more than four years. Senior detective on the case told BuzzFeed News that the obstacles on the part of the British any investigation “clearly suspicious” death seem more than strange.

Perepilichny collapsed and died on 10 November 2012 while Jogging near his mansion in an exclusive private community on the St. George hill in Surrey, after returning the same morning from Paris. Financier, born in Ukraine, but made his fortune in Moscow, has received threats ever since, as two years earlier revealed a tax fraud amounting to 230 million dollars from the corrupt Russian officials.

First, Perepilichny was one of those who helped to launder stolen funds to Swiss Bank accounts belonging to his government customers associated with the mafia. But when, after the promulgation of the data about this Scam, after several months of ill-treatment in prison died lawyer named Sergei Magnitsky, the financier turned against their customers. He fled to the UK, and in 2010 gave evidence to the Swiss Prosecutor’s office employees, becoming, sources say, the trump card for Western intelligence agencies in investigating the illegal flow of money from Russia. Perepilichny had received numerous threats and learned that he was in the hit list of the Russian mafia.

In 2012, after a medical examination in accordance with the life insurance contract, he received a certificate of lack of any disease. However, when a drizzling November day a few months later his lifeless body was found on the side of the road, the Surrey police concluded that he died of natural causes due to a heart attack. It was announced that “a full and detailed range of toxicology tests” revealed in his body anything suspicious and found “no reason to assume the intervention of some third party”. The case was closed.

Then, after little more than two years after his death, something sensational happened. Company, life insurance Perepilichny, has appointed a new range of consecutive checks, and her lawyer said involved in the preliminary investigation the coroner that a biologist from Kew gardens found in the stomach of the financier traces of the deadly poison. Toxin, according to the expert, was selected, apparently, from a rare Chinese flower of a plant called gelsemic nicknamed “heart attack-grass”, as its leaves cause heart failure if swallowed. At the time of the research, the proceedings were suspended.

Exposure Perepilichny convinced the French to conduct its own investigation trip of the financier in Paris four days before his death. In the official documents of the detectives noted that he was “explicitly threatened with death in Russia,” and told the Swiss Prosecutor’s office that “he was on the list of future victims of the Russian mafia”. The French suggested the British help. But the government continued to argue that the case was not suspicious, even after the discovery of the biologist traces gersemia — and that further investigation before the inquiry is not required. Police in Surrey told BuzzFeed News that they had cooperated fully with the coroner who will make the final decision on the question of the cause of Perepilichny’s death.

The Paris visit was shrouded in mystery — none of the family Perepilichny, his friends or business partners didn’t know what he was doing in the French capital. The only clue was that on 6 November, the financier took a train company Eurostar and had booked rooms in two hotels, according to the statement from his credit card. He returned 10 th with a check of the Prada boutique on the Champs Elysees in the amount of 1 200 euros, but that it was for sale — is unknown.

Now Buzzfeed News can tell that the French police seized the hotel management documents showing that in a five star hotel “Bristol” to Perepilichny joined Elmira of Medynska, a young Ukrainian woman, who claimed on his web site that he studied in Moscow at the designer. According to records, the couple stayed for two nights, booked the romance package, and left on November 10. Later in the day Perepilichny died.

French detectives have told BuzzFeed News that in the investigation of Medynska was listed as “very important” person, because he was “one of the last that was seen of Mr. Perepilichny alive,” but added that polling failed due to delays in the investigation caused by the reluctance of the UK to cooperate.

Medinsky said about his meeting with Perepilichny anyone from the law enforcement bodies told. But BuzzFeed News has learned that she lives in a luxury penthouse apartment on the fashionable Avenue Victor Hugo in Paris, and got her an exclusive interview about the last days of Perepilichny.

Medinski now 27 years old, her height more than 6 ft (183 cm), blonde hair, sharp facial features and piercing dark eyes. Sitting on the couch in his apartment with high ceilings, she told me that Perepilichny had seen only twice before the trip to Paris — the first meeting was held in an exclusive restaurant and night club called Leo Club in the Ukrainian capital Kiev in 2012 before the short joint trip to nice on the French Riviera. She was then twenty-something, and she opened in Ukraine own business “Haute couture”. She tried to remember how they first made contact with each other, and said Perepilichny, a tall 44-year-old man with tousled dark hair may have contacted her via the social network and asked to meet with him in Kiev. He was, in her words, “adorable”, “cute, smart, handsome man” with “soft eyes” who liked to take her shopping and send roses.

Medynska came from Ukraine to meet Perepilichny in Paris on 8 November, but did not know that at the time he was in town for two days. Anyone, including the French police, could not establish what he was doing, where and who is seen between the 6th and the morning of the 8th. When Medinsky arrived, the financier invited her to lunch at the Four seasons, and then spent shopping on the Champs Elysees. Secret receipt from Prada boutique finally opened: he bought her a designer purse and also a pair of black shoes louboutins. “He showed me Paris,” says Medinski with a terrible accent.

But, as she remembered something obviously wasn’t right. “I felt that he was very tense,” said she. He always went outside to answer the mysterious phone calls that seemed to frighten him — she noticed was shaking his hands and that he was drinking “much wine”, which even spilled on his chest. While she was trying on shoes, he “freaked out and went from side to side” — was so distracted that he bought the wrong size louboutins.

According to Medina, Perepilichny never talked about his life, family or work, and she had no idea that he was married or had problems with the Russian government. A trip to Paris, she said, did not go very smoothly because she felt that he was trying to buy her affections. “He believed that I will be happy if he buys me the bag, but really I got mad at him for it,” she said. At the moment of parting he was, in her words, “very upset.” After they said goodbye on the morning of the 10th, and sent him a message of apology for your mood, but the answer have not received. A week later she found out about his death.

Perepilichny came home in the morning of the 10th and had a bowl of the Russian sorrel soup cooked him for dinner with his wife and 8-year-old daughter. For questions about the trip, he told the family that Paris was “very gray and gloomy,” his wife remembered about it during the interrogation last week. He went with his daughter to an electronics store, and at the end of the day, went for a run. Soon after, through the twilight and the rain his body was illuminated by the headlights of a car, jumped out from behind a ledge of a steep hill, near which he lost consciousness and fell. The driver jumped out to call for help, and the local chef in white uniform rushed to resuscitate him. Perepilichny was livid, as shown by both men for questioning. It has vomited several times into the mouth to do CPR on the chef, and when the ambulance arrived, he was “absolutely on what does not react”. Soon he was diagnosed with his death.

Medinsky reported that the news that she was informed by email Perepilichny wife Tatiana, who called it “bad words”. (Tatiana Perepilichny had not responded to repeated requests to comment for this story.) When Medynska “googled” it and read about his past, not surprised that he died. “It happens with a Russian in London, she said. — He gave the Swiss provide information about Russia, and for that you can pay with life.”

Medinsky did not know that Perepilichny may have been poisoned, and had no idea about how the toxin entered his body. But she wanted to appeal to the UK government on the issue of threats to Russian exiles to their land. The involvement of “big money” from Russia, maybe “good for the UK economy,” she said, but involves retribution. In the case of Perepilichny, as she says, the authorities should have been asking questions like “Who is this guy? Where’s his money? He might have some problems?” But, she said, “before, they never thought about it and did nothing to save him, and now they have nothing but doubts and questions.”

Shortly after the death of Perepilichny, Medinsky opened their own business in the fashion industry and called Elmira Medins. Her ribbon is full of glamorous Instagram selfie in five-star hotels and exclusive restaurants in Paris, Dubai and Milan. She has held fashion shows in Bristol, where he stayed with Perepilichny, and posted photos of the Four seasons, where they had lunch. She said that she links to on her website regarding her time studying and doing business in Russia was incorrect, and after BuzzFeed News contacted her, and disappeared.

Medinsky said that a few months after Surrey’s body was found Perepilichny, she received a letter from the British investigator, who said that the dead man’s phone was discovered message from her, and asked if she was seeing him in Paris. She said that he had met, and received a second letter in which we asked, didn’t she know four other women with whom was associated Perepilichny. Other women she didn’t know but gave his mobile number and offered to go to England to help with the investigation, if it can help with obtaining a visa. She said that over the man with her have never been involved as representatives of other institutions.

As told to the investigator detective constable of Surrey police were aware of the fact that in Paris Perepilichny met with the “citizen of Ukraine” and that staff “from the beginning” I tried calling her, but to no avail. They decided that “it would be better to write her an email”. There hasn’t been any official interrogation and then a court case Perepilichny will not hear the testimony of the woman with whom he spent the last two days of his life.

A consequence, the aim of which is to establish the cause of Perepilichny’s death, began June 5 and is expected to last several weeks. Will hear contradictory testimony of the police toxicologist, who in the course of the initial autopsy have ruled out poison and dumped most of the contents of the stomach of a financier and an independent biologist, who later found traces gersemia that remained from the samples of that content.

At the hearing involved four parties. American financier bill Browder is investigating the Perepilichny revelations of fraud in the $ 230 million because the money was stolen from the taxes paid by his hedge Fund Hermitage Capital Management. His lawyers argue that the Russian was killed for denouncing. The insurance company representatives Perepilichny Legal & General, which ordered the tests, which revealed traces gersemia also support the version of the murder. Opposed to them lawyers of the police of Surrey, supporting the application of Perepilichny’s death from natural causes. Senior detective inspector in charge of the case, the statement to the coroner called it, “perhaps the most thorough investigation of sudden and unexplained death” that he had ever seen. Buzzfeed News has learned that police lawyers are going to rely on the testimony of experts during the upcoming hearings detection gersemia will challenge.

Widow Perepilichny Tatiana in the case also announced, and last week confirmed their testimony regarding what her husband died of natural causes. In the statement, released on the eve of the inquiry, her lawyer said that she believes “the tragic death of her husband was overshadowed by the stereotypes of successful Russian businessmen, backed by Legal & General and Hermitage”. She accused these companies is that they “have tarnished the good name of Alexander Perepilichny”. According to the statement, she never heard about any threats to her husband’s life throughout their 20-year marriage and does not believe that it could be poison. Hermitage used her husband’s death “to promote and advance his long and extensive campaign against President Putin and the Russian government” and did “not calculate the adverse impact that this exposure has had and continues to have on her family and their business interests in Russia.”

The court is unlikely to read the testimony of the French investigators and will not consider the contents of certain documents closed by the UK government for reasons of national security. The company’s lawyers Hermitage appealed to the government to provide them with any information about any threats to their personal security Perepilichny or involvement in his death of third parties, or those five people associated with a fraud amounting to 230 million dollars. But interior Minister amber Rudd successfully argued that “disclosure would bring real and significant harm to national security” and received in November last year, the order of the High court on the establishment of secrecy. Authenticated on the reliability of the coroner was brought to review the documents, and he found that to be the cause of Perepilichny’s death, they have no relationship, and therefore the investigation can continue without addressing them.

Lawyers as Hermitage and Legal & General has accused the government of concealing. Browder also attacked the British government criticized his inability to investigate the transfer of the accounts of London banks, illegal funds obtained through fraud on the us $ 230 million, and assumed $ 30 million stolen from tax Hermitage, was ultimately in Britain.

As reported by BuzzFeed News us intelligence officials, they also believe that to remain indifferent Britain decided deliberately. One official said that the police “concocted” investigation because “they immediately suspected foul play, although Perepilichny was a man prominent and was under the sight of the Kremlin.” A second official suggested that a possible explanation for the indifference of the government. “As to whether it could be a case a La “pretend that you are not affected, because the Russians invest in property and land”, I’d recommend you just follow the money, he said. — Which ends their way?”

Heidi Blake — the head of investigation Department of BuzzFeed News, based in London.

Jason Leopold is a senior investigative reporter BuzzFeed News, works in Los Angeles.

Jane Bradley — investigative reporter BuzzFeed News, based in London.

Richard Holmes — assistant investigative journalism BuzzFeed News, based in London.

Tom Warren — investigative reporter BuzzFeed News, based in London.

Alex Campbell — Deputy head of investigation Department of BuzzFeed, based in London.