Embassy Press Officer’s reply to a media question concerning the publication of “The Daily Telegraph” regarding the “Perepilichny сase”

Question: How can you comment on the information published in «The Daily Telegraph” on 6 August that, at the start of the police investigation, the higher authorities were allegedly kept in the dark despite indications of political aspects in the death of A.Perepilichny?

Answer: We have had a close look at the publication. It is regrettable that some British media outlets remain tools for throw-ins of unsupported theories in the course of the Coroner’s inquest into the death of a Russian citizen A.Perepilichny (who died in the UK in November 2012).

Clearly, this is yet another attempt to question the investigation conducted by the police and the results of the two postmortem examinations, performed by the UK Home Office experts after the death of the Russian national, which established the cause of death as “non suspicious”. Moreover, during main hearings at Old Bailey, started in June 2017, the Surrey police have stated that the experts have not established any indications of poisoning, violent death or third-party involvement.

Judging by this, as well as other high-profile case investigations related to Russian citizens in the UK, dangerous trends of defaming testimonies and interested persons in the course of inquest are becoming the new norm. In this case - the police and the widow of Mr A.Perepilichny by W.Browder’s fund  (Mr Browder has been sentenced in absentia in Russia for committing financial crimes). Not to mention the ill-intentioned politicizing of the inquest into the cause of death.

The main obstacle for a transparent and just procedure is the obstructive stance of the British government, which has classified a part of the secret services’ materials on Mr Perepilichny’s activities, under the pretext of “national security”. By various English media reports, it is highly likely that A.Perepilichny, as well as A.Litvinenko, B.Berezovsky and S.Skripal worked closely with the UK secret services. This may explain the attempts of the secret services to lay the ground for the jugglery of speculative theories in Court and mass media in order to draw a red herring across the trail of the inquest and imbalance it, thus making it a cog in the wheel of the campaign to discredit Russia.

Even more troubling, the publication by “The Daily Telegraph” saw the light of day right after the Coroner adjourned the inquest to look into the submission of the interested persons in order to make a final judgement in this case. In our view such comments relayed through the media are intended to pressure the Judge and galvanize the public opinion.