18 January 202111:29

Australian media’s new anti-Russia campaign

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On December 29-30, 2020, Rupert Murdoch’s flagship newspaper The Australian published several items criticising national law enforcement and security authorities for their inability (!) to probe a suspected Russian mafia money-laundering operation in Australia. The newspaper has slammed the Australian Federal Police and financial intelligence agency Austrac for disregarding Bill Browder’s information about the Australian banks storing a cache of $3.47 million allegedly obtained as a result of illegal operations uncovered by Sergey Magnitsky.

The Australian journalists are outraged that 16 other countries have accepted the claims of the infamous financial expert, who is trying to make a career on Russophobia, at face value and seized the indicated accounts. The reporters reject the law enforcers’ arguments regarding the complexity of tracking financial transactions and legal ambiguities as unsubstantial. Instead of offering their own arguments, they are citing politicians, both from the ruling coalition and the opposition, who surprisingly unanimously demand that all resources be invested into investigating the “Russian mafia money laundering operation” and, of course, that an Australian analogue of the US Magnitsky Act be adopted as soon as possible.

We must give credit to the unintentional openness of the Australian journalists and politicians, who did not shirk from publicly stating their objective: to ensure the adoption of yet another anti-Russia law. By doing this, they have actually issued a political order to the country’s law enforcement authorities to reopen the investigation and this time to make sure that they find evidence supporting Bill Browder’s allegations,  even if it doesn’t exist.

It is not surprising that The Australian prefers to forget about Browder’s own problems with the law. We would like to remind everyone that the Hermitage Capital’s founder has stolen billions of dollars in Russia, was involved in money machinations and tax avoidance, has been sentenced in two cases and has been the target of several other criminal investigations for grave offences. Only those who are politically bent on fuelling confrontation prefer to turn a blind eye to these facts. It is regrettable that Australian journalists and politicians refuse to accept this uncomfortable truth about Bill Browder.



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