Mikhail Khodorkovsky: Revealing Witnesses to the Murder of Journalists in Central African Republic Could Lead to New Victims

September 20, 2018

Mikhail Khodorkovsky comments on the poisoning of Pussy Riot member Peter Verzilov, after he received a report on the investigation into the deaths of Alexander Rastorguev, Orkhan Dzhemal and Kiril Radchenko in the Central African Republic. 

In the very first days after studying the circumstances of the deaths of three journalists in the Central African Republic and the situation surrounding the events, I and my colleagues came to the conclusion that we’re not just talking about a simple robbery.  This means that investigating the crimes will be dangerous business, and control over the participants in the investigation will be immense.  That is why I immediately declined to conduct an investigation from Moscow, as well as to include Peter Verzilov in it in particular.

The centre of our investigation is located in London.  My Moscow-based colleagues received separate assignments.  Nevertheless, an extremely serious provocation was prepared against one of them, who was accused of preparing a terrorist attack against Vladimir Putin.  We received a warning about this at the time and were forced to suggest that that person leave the country immediately.

At the same time we became aware of one of the witnesses in the case of the murder of three journalists in the Central African Republic, which took place under very suspicious circumstances.

As is now clear, Peter Verzilov began an independent investigation into the murder, which led him to the very same people we had identified.  On the day he received the report, as his friends reported, he was poisoned.  Based on the facts I have, I believe that this was a deliberate poisoning, and that the events are connected.

I am aware of several other groups involved in the investigation.  I want to warn them that the current situation is extremely dangerous, and the announcement of real names, instead of conditional ones, as was done in Peter’s report and mentioned by his friends, could lead to new victims.

I earnestly request all of my colleagues to take into account what is happening and not to decipher the information provided by Peter’s friends.

In late July 2018 Alexander Rastorguev, Orkhan Dzhemal and Kiril Radchenko were murdered in the Central African Republic under suspicious circumstances while filming an investigative documentary of the Russian Wagner Private Military Company. 

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