250 Immigration Officers in ‘Trouble’

January 14, 2020

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first_imgLIS Commissioner Lemuel ReevesAuthorities of the Liberia Immigration Service (LIS) in Monrovia have reportedly failed to address the plight of about 250 of their officers who have not been paid their monthly salary since they graduated last year from training the LIS conducted in Grand Cape Mount County.The officers reportedly fell in trouble with their respective commanders when they demanded to see President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf for their salary arrears and allegedly abandoning their respective assignments chasing their paychecks, the Daily Observer has unearthed.Although the LIS public affairs is yet to speak on the issue, 10 of the aggrieved officers have meanwhile been placed behind bars at the LIS headquarters in Sinkor on the alleged orders of some unnamed senior officers, with the say-so of LIS Commissioner Lemuel Reeves.LIS, formerly the Bureau of Immigration and Naturalization (BIN), is headquartered in a rented apartment in Fiamah, Sinkor, outside Monrovia.Two of the disgruntled officers told the Daily Observer on condition of anonymity that their colleagues were jailed following a failed meeting the LIS authorities had arranged with the leadership of the affected officers.“Few hours after the meeting failed, another batch of five other officers were cajoled into the buildings and ordered jailed on the alleged order of the Service Commissioner, Peter Zayzay,” the officer claimed.According to our information, the LIS hierarchy had invited the leadership of the affected officers under the pretext to dialogue and to find a common ground on how the officers would receive their salaries, only to end up being put behind bars.The Daily Observer established that while the officers had hoped to get redress concerning their salary arrears, Commissioner Zayzay, who had invited them, became enraged and ordered that each of the officers he invited to his office be detained. He did not provide any reason for his action, our source noted.The aggrieved officers subsequently gathered in their numbers and reportedly stormed the LIS headquarters, demanding from the authority their paychecks, which they claimed had accumulated since they graduated last year.In May last year, the 250 officers completed their training in ‘Camp Biago,’ Grand Cape Mount County, but are yet to receive a dime from the government, which the authorities promised to pay shortly after they were assigned at their respective posts.Meanwhile, the officers said they have exerted all available means to get their salaries, because their family members now face hardship, “but to no avail, as all stakeholders that promised to settle our pay are yet to make good on their promises.”Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more


West Berbice Mandir vandalised

January 12, 2020

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first_img– Dharmic Sabha calls for swift justiceMembers of the Guyana Hindu Dharmic Sabha are now appealing to the Police for justice after their West Coast Berbice Mandir was broken in to Saturday night.According to reports, a member of the Number Three Vishnu Mandir on the West Coast of Berbice made the discovery. Several Murtis were damaged and it was reported that several microphones were also stolen.The Mandir was vandalised and the perpetrators destroyed several MurtisThe Sabha, in a Facebook post Sunday morning, said: “It is our hope that those who committed this violation of this Mandir be dealt with by the law.”Investigations are ongoing.last_img read more


Mayor says city closing in on anti-crime goals

January 11, 2020

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first_imgLANCASTER – Lancaster will begin to see results from its anti-crime efforts and in economic development, Mayor Henry Hearns said Monday. In the annual “State of the City” address, Hearns said Lancaster’s numerous anti-crime efforts, which have included bolstering the number of sheriff’s deputies, will help toward the goal of reducing crime by 30 percent in the next five years. In the speech, given before a luncheon of the Lancaster West Rotary Club, Hearns said those efforts included increasing public safety spending by 43 percent during the past two years to $19.3 million this year. “We have increased resources and implemented programs to achieve this target (a 30 percent reduction,)” Hearns said. “I think we will reach 30 percent before five years.” Among Lancaster’s anti-crime efforts are adding 22 deputy positions to its law enforcement contract during the past two years; expanding the community service officer program; and starting a program offering $1,000 rewards for information leading to convictions in robbery and burglary cases. The city also plans to establish a system that allows residents to file reports for minor crimes online. “This frees up deputies to do what they do best,” Hearns said. The city also has installed cameras at Jane Reynolds and Pierre W. Bain parks and is looking to install them at City Park and the National Soccer Center. On the economic front, Hearns said the city’s efforts to develop the Fox Field Corridor into a commercial and industrial center will pay off with about 600 jobs being created. The corridor, which runs from the Fox Field airport to the Antelope Valley Freeway, houses such operations as the distribution centers for the restaurant supply company SYGMA, the crafts-store chain Michaels and the Rite Aid drug-store chain. Hearns also cited as examples of economic growth the recent additions to a shopping center at 10th Street West and Avenue K, including a Chili’s restaurant, and two hotels in development adjacent to Clear Channel Stadium. Although it won’t come to fruition this year, Hearns also highlighted the proposed Amargosa Creek development – a 150-acre project that includes medical offices, shops and a hotel. The shopping component of the project is expected to be a pedestrian-friendly environment with a town square as a gathering spot. “We’re looking at the Amargosa Creek center as a place where everybody in the Antelope Valley comes together,” Hearns said. james.skeen@dailynews (661) 267-5743 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more


Oil producer Pengrowth Energy agrees to nickel-a-share bid by Cona Resources

January 10, 2020

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first_img“The extreme volatility in the price of western Canadian oil in the fall of 2018, coupled with an uncertain political and regulatory environment, has led to a severe funding crisis in the Canadian energy capital markets which impeded the company’s ability to achieve a funding solution,” said Kel Johnston, chairman of the Pengrowth board of directors, in a statement.This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 1, 2019.Companies in this story: (TSX:PGF)The Canadian PressAdvertisement CALGARY — Shares in oil and gas producer Pengrowth Energy Corp. tumbled by 75 per cent on Friday after it announced a deal to be acquired by Cona Resources Ltd. for five cents per share and the assumption of debt.Shares in Pengrowth closed at five cents to match the offering price, down from Thursday’s 20-cent close and at a fraction of their 10-year high close of $13.85 in April 2011.Pengrowth says Cona, which is a portfolio company of the Waterous Energy Fund, has also agreed to pay shareholders a “potential contingent value payment” if funds result from pending litigation.- Advertisement -Pengrowth CEO Pete Sametz says the company’s inability to raise capital to fund its ongoing heavy oil business led to the initiation of a strategic review process last spring.He says the sale of the company was the best outcome after it failed in the face of “lacklustre oil pricing and increased political and regulatory uncertainty” to restructure its debt, listed at $702 million as of June 30, or find new sources of funding.The arrangement requires approval by debtholders holding at least two-thirds of its debt and shareholders with at least two-thirds of its stock at meetings to be held in December.Advertisementlast_img read more


EASTER WEEKEND PICTURE SPECIAL FROM THE NEWLY RENOVATED PULSE VENUE LETTERKENNY

December 28, 2019

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first_imgEASTER WEEKEND PICTURE SPECIAL: What a superb weekend club revellers had at the newly renovated Pulse Venue Letterkenny over the Easter holiday period.A new clubbing experience was sampled for the first time since The Pulse underwent significant renovations in overhauling the hugely popular nightclub.The venue was packed all weekend as clubbers were desperate to experience what the new-look Pulse Venue had to offer them.By all accounts it was an UNBELIEVABLE weekend at The Pulse but the general consensus giving the new-look Pulse a big thumbs up.Above are a selection of images taken from over the weekend.EASTER WEEKEND PICTURE SPECIAL FROM THE NEWLY RENOVATED PULSE VENUE LETTERKENNY was last modified: April 8th, 2015 by Mark ForkerShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:EntertainmentFeaturesnewspicture specialPulse Venuelast_img read more


DONEGAL MAN IN COURT CHARGED WITH €100,000 CATTLE THEFT

December 28, 2019

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first_imgA Donegal man has been charged with the theft of 100 animals, understood to be worth a total value of €107,300 from a farm in Kilbeggan, Co. Westmeath last year.Barry Carr, with an address at Boeshill, Pettigo appeared before Judge Seamus Hughes at a sitting of Athlone District Court.Carr was charged with stealing nine cows, nine calves and 53 cattle with a total value of €100,000 from property of Niall Dillon between June 24 and 25, 2015. He was also charged with stealing four cattle and 25 mountain ewes with a value of €7,300, which were being held at Department of Agriculture property.Carr was remanded on bail to appear before the court again on September 21 when a book of evidence will be served.It is believed that this is the biggest cattle theft in the country’s history.DONEGAL MAN IN COURT CHARGED WITH €100,000 CATTLE THEFT was last modified: June 10th, 2016 by John2Share this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)last_img read more


FANCY WINNING €2,000 IN PRIZES FOR YOUR SPORTS CLUB OR CHARITY?

December 27, 2019

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first_imgFor over 11 years, the family owned Radisson Blu Hotel Letterkenny, have been proud to support local charities and sporting clubs. In 2015, the hotel is proud to present an offering to help clubs & charities continue to raise much needed funds.The hotel, ideally located in Letterkenny town & a recipient of the AA Rosette Award of culinary excellence, have compiled Dinner Dance Packages which offer something for all tastes and budgets. How to be in with a chance of winning?Book your dinner dance before the 31st of October 2015 and be entered into a draw to be in with a chance of winning this fantastic prize.The Radisson Blu team are delighted to offer a ‘One Night Bed and Super Buffet Breakfast’ voucher to help raise the funds required for your dinner dance.For further details, call +35374 919 4444. FANCY WINNING €2,000 IN PRIZES FOR YOUR SPORTS CLUB OR CHARITY? was last modified: August 6th, 2015 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)last_img read more


LOCAL NEWS – DOWNINGS NOTES FOR THE MEVAGH RESOURCE CENTRE

December 25, 2019

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first_imgAdministrative Assistant (FÁS Community Employment Scheme – 19½ hrs per week). A vacancy exists in the Mevagh Family Resource Centre for an Administrative Assistant. Experience necessary. The position is to commence in February. To confirm eligibility or for further details contact Tommy (FÁS Supervisor) on 9154914 with your date of birth and your P.P.S. number.Mevagh Women Together – The group will have a bring & buy sale at their next meeting in the Resource Centre on Monday 21st January at 8:00 pm. Mevagh Men’s Group – usual meeting on Tuesday evening, 22nd January at 8:00 pm. Guest Speaker: Kevin Mc Bride.A.S.I.S.T. (Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training) This is a refresher course for those who have previously completed this training. It will take place on Tuesday 22nd January from 7:00 pm until 10:00 pm in the Mevagh Family Resource Centre. Call the centre to register your name. Carer’s Group – Patricia Swan will facilitate the group meeting on Tuesday 22nd January in the Resource Centre at the new time of 8:00 pm. This group is open to all Carers, registered and non-registered.Craft Group – continues as usual every Thursday morning from 10:30am to 12:00 noon.Mevagh Busy Bees – Parent, Baby and toddler group meet every Friday morning from 10:00 am until 12:00 noon. Bring along your busy bees for some fun. Cost is now reduced to €3 per family.Traditional Music Group – will run on a Friday evening commencing at 8:00pm.Beginners I.T. – commencing on Monday 28th January from 10:00 am until 12:00 pm this course will run for 10 weeks and is tailored to suit individuals who have little or no knowledge of computers or want to upgrade on what knowledge they have. Course costs €40 and booking must be made in advance.Annual General Meeting of Meitheal Mhíobhaigh Teoranta will be held in the centre at 8pm on the 26th February 2013. All Welcome.Improvers I.T. – a follow-on from beginners this course will run subject to numbers. Cost is €45. Please contact the centre to reserve your place.Drama Workshops – consisting of drama, games and exercises, improvisation, storytelling, voice work, movement and basic stagecraft ending with a showcase for parents / guardians on the final week. Come along, make some new friends and build your confidence in a fun way! Starting Wednesday, 23rd January. 5yr to 7yr olds from 4:00 pm until 5:00 pm and 8yr to 12yr olds from 5:00 pm until 6:00 pm. Cost is €40 per child for 8 weeks. Call the centre on 074 9155055 to reserve your child’s place. Young Girls Club – Calling all girls aged 7 to 12 years. Exciting new club consisting of cookery, arts & crafts, movies, hair, make-up and beauty. Each week we will have guests who will share their expertise with the group. Come along every Thursday from 3:30 pm until 5:00 pm, starting Thursday 24th January. Cost is €20.00 registration fee and €2.00 each night thereafter. If interested please contact the Resource Centre – 074 9155055.Youth Guitar Lessons – Paul Ward will be providing guitar lessons covering beginners, intermediate and advanced levels. Cost is €64 per child for 8 weeks. Starting Monday 28th January from 4:30 pm until 5:30 pm. Booking essential on 074 9155055.Adult Learner Fair 2013 – Donegal VEC’s Annual Adult Learner Fair will be held in the Mount Errigal Hotel, Letterkenny from 11:00 am until 3:30 pm on Friday 25th January. Special Guest Speaker, Jim McGuinness will attend from 11:00 am to 12:30 pm and speak about his inspiring adult education story, how he created success in his own career and for the Donegal Team and the steps we need to take to plan our own future. Don’t miss this day of inspiration, motivation, advice and support for anyone thinking of going back to education and training.LOCAL NEWS – DOWNINGS NOTES FOR THE MEVAGH RESOURCE CENTRE was last modified: January 15th, 2013 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:DowningsMevagh Resource Centrelast_img read more


SA launches new research vessel

December 19, 2019

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first_img21 September 2007South Africa this week launched the Ellen Khuzwayo, a R100-million scientific vessel that will conduct research on marine resources and oceanographic conditions in southern African waters.Launching the vessel in Cape Town on Thursday, Environment Minister Marthinus van Schalkwyk said the Ellen Khuzwayo, measuring over 43 metres, would be the flagship research vessel of the department, which has two other research vessels, the Africana and the Algoa.He said that with a combined fleet of four compliance ships and three fisheries research ships, South Africa had the most significant marine presence within the region.“The Ellen is named after the late Dr Ellen Khuzwayo – teacher, social worker, author and prominent figure in the struggle against apartheid,” Van Schalkwyk said. “We are pleased to honour [her] in our ongoing commitment to commemorate the significant role of women in our country’s history through the naming of our ships.”According to the department, the replacement forms part of its strategy to upgrade its research fleet to provide South Africa with the best possible scientific advice relating to the country’s ocean environment and marine resources.The ship was designed by Skipsteknisk AS of Norway and built by Cape Town-based Farocean Marine.The Ellen Khuzwayo will be deployed primarily on inshore research, which includes scientific research on marine living resources such as rock lobster, linefish, large pelagic fishes, seabirds, marine mammals and sharks.The vessel, which has excellent manoeuvrability and stability, will also engage in diving operations and monitoring and research of oceanographic conditions. It is equipped with two fully-fitted laboratories, one for fish sampling and another for oceanographic studies.It is also fitted with advanced acoustic equipment for fish surveys, state-of-the-art oceanographic equipment and winches for deploying and retrieving its and instruments.“The Ellen is a purpose-built research ship designed to operate anywhere within the South African [Exclusive Economic Zone], up to 200 nautical miles offshore,” Van Schalkwyk said.“The ship has a steaming range of 2 500 nautical miles and can remain at sea for 18 to 20 days. She carries a crew of 13 and has accommodation for eight scientists.”SAinfo reporter Want to use this article in your publication or on your website?See: Using SAinfo materiallast_img read more


Exhibit A: How McKinsey Got Entangled in a Bribery Case

December 2, 2019

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first_imgBoeing was in a tight spot. Just as it was preparing to roll out its innovative 787 Dreamliner — the plane that was supposed to lead the aircraft manufacturer into the future — a shortage of strong but lightweight titanium parts threatened production.With titanium prices rising and delivery dates looming, Boeing knew it needed help, so in 2006 it did what many companies do when faced with vexing problems: It turned to McKinsey & Co., the consulting firm with the golden pedigree, purveyor of “best practices” advice to businesses and governments around the world.Boeing asked McKinsey to evaluate a proposal, potentially worth $500 million annually, to mine titanium in India through a foreign partnership financed by an influential Ukrainian oligarch.McKinsey says it advised Boeing of the risks of working with the oligarch and recommended “character due diligence.” Attached to its evaluation was a single PowerPoint slide in which McKinsey described what it said was the potential partner’s strategy for winning mining permits. It included bribing Indian officials.The partner’s plan, McKinsey noted, was to “respect traditional bureaucratic process including use of bribes.” McKinsey also wrote that the partner had identified eight “key Indian officials” — named in the PowerPoint slide — whose influence was needed for the deal to go through. Nowhere in the slide did McKinsey advise that such a scheme would be illegal or unwise.McKinsey declined to provide The New York Times with its full report or any evidence that it had objected to the paying of bribes. But the consultancy denied recommending “bribery or other illegal acts.” For his part, the Ukrainian oligarch, Dmitry V. Firtash, denies that he paid or recommended bribes, or had any dealings with McKinsey or knowledge of the document.The story of McKinsey’s role in the episode has remained hidden from public view for 12 years. Even today the firm’s ultimate recommendation and how its client, Boeing, responded remain something of a mystery, cloaked in the secrecy of grand jury proceedings. But McKinsey’s reference to illegal acts has thrust the firm into a tangled international battle over the extradition of Firtash, who has been charged in the United States with bribing Indian officials in anticipation of getting titanium for Boeing.Should he be brought to trial, McKinsey, and the document it produced, stand to play a major role in the outcome — a well of potential embarrassment that underscores the risks that McKinsey and other U.S. consulting firms face as they, and clients like Boeing, do business in countries where ethical standards and practices diverge from those at home.McKinsey initially refused to confirm that the report even existed. But after learning that The Times had obtained a copy, the firm issued a statement acknowledging that McKinsey employees had indeed written it. Neither McKinsey nor Boeing agreed to an interview.This account is based on an examination of public and confidential records, as well as interviews in the United States and Europe.When Boeing went looking for titanium in 2006, it tentatively agreed to buy the metal through a company controlled by Firtash, who had made billions of dollars brokering gas sales to Ukraine from Russia and former Soviet republics.The deal did not end well.The mining venture never materialized, but Firtash was indicted on charges of directing $18.5 million in bribes to Indian officials for mining permits.Firtash was a big catch for the Americans, who saw him as close to the Russian president, Vladimir Putin, capable of leading a wavering Ukraine away from a Western economic alliance and into the Kremlin’s camp. In Vienna, where Firtash was arrested and remains free on a $174 million cash bond, an extradition judge accused U.S. officials of using the prosecution in service of its geopolitical interests.Neither McKinsey nor Boeing was charged in the case, and Boeing has not been accused of paying bribes. But several employees of the two companies are believed to have testified before a grand jury. Boeing continued to pursue the venture even after being advised that its partner’s plans included paying bribes, records show.In a recent interview in Vienna, Firtash said that neither he nor any of his representatives had any connection to the McKinsey document.“We never worked with McKinsey,” he said. He said he had been unfairly singled out by prosecutors because of false media reports tying him to Putin, and an unconsummated business deal with Paul Manafort, the former Trump campaign chairman recently convicted of tax violations related to his work in Ukraine.The Hunt for TitaniumFor Boeing, the early 2000s were a time to roll the dice. As its chief competitor, the European consortium Airbus, moved toward bigger planes, Boeing countered with a design that promised better fuel efficiency and easier maintenance: the 787 Dreamliner, a lighter, more durable aircraft with a higher percentage of titanium and composite materials.As orders flooded in, Boeing executives knew well what was at stake. In an article about the Dreamliner, The MIT Technology Review quoted a manager saying, “If we get it wrong, it’s the end.”Boeing hit a crosswind: an industrywide shortage of fasteners — the seemingly mundane items like nuts, bolts, rivets and washers that literally hold planes together. Thousands were needed for each aircraft, and for the lighter Dreamliner, they had to contain more titanium.Desperate for new supplies, Boeing latched onto a promising lead. A group of six international businessmen with plentiful financing had offered to mine and process 5 million to 12 million pounds of the metal annually, much of it for sale to Boeing. The group, Bothli Trade AG, had signed a memorandum of understanding for a joint mining venture with the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh.Environmental concerns arose, and when a land survey was conducted on the proposed mining site, residents “reacted violently,” according to government records.But Boeing faced a more basic question: Should it even be doing business with this group — largely little-known figures from India, Sri Lanka and Hungary? The exception was the leader and leading financier, Firtash, who had expertise as the owner of titanium processing plants in Ukraine.This was the business plan that McKinsey was brought in to assess, the plan that its report described as including the paying of bribes.Ultimately, the deal fell apart. Boeing found other sources of titanium and McKinsey continued to advise the company on the supply chain. But McKinsey’s report on India would remain buried until it came to light years later in a legal storm.The Fight to ExtraditeIn June 2013, a federal grand jury in Chicago secretly indicted Firtash and five others, including an Indian official, on bribery charges. Still, it would be nine months before Firtash was taken into custody, where he remained for a little more than a week until a Russian billionaire, Vasily Anisimov, posted his $174 million bond. Anisimov is an associate of Putin’s friend Arkady Rotenberg.So began a highly unusual four-year tug-of-war between two allies, the United States and Austria. Extradition requests between the United States and other Western nations are hardly ever rejected, said Lanny J. Davis, one of Firtash’s lawyers and a former special counsel to President Bill Clinton.This extradition case would play out differently.In August 2014, five months after Firtash’s arrest, a document unexpectedly arrived via email and Federal Express at the Austrian Justice Ministry in Vienna. It would raise profound questions about the direction of the case.To U.S. prosecutors, it was known simply as “Exhibit A.” A single PowerPoint slide, written in 2006 and attached to a much longer evaluation of the India mining venture, it laid out the alleged bribery scheme.The slide stated that Firtash’s group, Bothli Trade, “has identified key Indian officials and has crafted a strategy to gain their influences.” That strategy included investing in infrastructure and jobs and respecting the traditional use of bribes. Those key officials were named, along with their positions. A footnote attributed this information to Bothli’s business plan and interviews with unidentified individuals.Exhibit A couldn’t have come at a better time for the prosecutors. Their extradition case appeared to be falling short, dependent largely on unidentified witnesses, records that purportedly showed bribe money disguised as legitimate business transactions and meetings between Boeing officials and members of Firtash’s group. The Austrian judge wasn’t buying it.If U.S. officials wanted to try Firtash in Chicago, the judge said, more evidence of criminal conduct was needed, including the names of cooperating witnesses and what they were expected to say. The Americans refused, saying that to identify them would put their lives at risk, since Firtash was “associated with an upper-echelon member of the Russian mafia, Semion Mogilevich.” Firtash adamantly denies having had any business relationship with Mogilevich.That was when prosecutors discovered Exhibit A in Boeing’s files. Rarely does someone put in writing the need for bribes. Yet now, more than a year after the indictment, prosecutors had a document that they called “very clear proof” that Firtash’s enterprise had advised Boeing “of the plan to bribe Indian public officials, which was already underway.”A Vital Piece of InformationThe Austrian judge, Christoph Bauer, had more questions.Why, he wondered, had prosecutors waited so long after the indictment to arrest Firtash? He was not hiding, the judge said, adding that U.S. officials should have known that Firtash had visited France, Germany and Switzerland and made a very public appearance when he ceremoniously opened the London Stock Exchange one day in October 2013.And then there was the curious timing of the Americans’ pursuit of Firtash, which the judge suspected was linked to his influence in Ukrainian politics, especially his help in electing the president, Viktor Yanukovych, in 2010.Three years later, Yanukovych was wavering over whether to sign an economic agreement with the European Union or to align with Russia. He also faced re-election.As soon as it became clear that Yanukovych, under pressure from Russia, was reconsidering signing the European Union agreement, the judge pointed out, an American delegation traveled to Kiev to bring him in line.Facing the prospect that Firtash might sway Yanukovych and use his connections to help him remain in power, the United States asked Austria to arrest the oligarch, the judge said.Indeed, documents show that in fall 2013, Austrian authorities had received an “urgent message” from U.S. prosecutors: Firtash was expected in Vienna on Nov. 4. Arrest him.Then, a few days before the planned arrest, the documents show, came another urgent message: “As part of a larger strategy, U.S. authorities have determined we need to pass up this opportunity.” No arrest. No explanation of the larger strategy.According to Bauer, though, that was when Yanukovych appeared to be rejecting Russia. But when the president turned back toward Russia five months later, the Americans renewed the request and Firtash was taken into custody.Yanukovych was ousted in February 2014 amid violent protests. He now lives in Russia.To the surprise of U.S. officials, the judge denied extradition on the grounds that the request was politically motivated, whether or not Firtash was “sufficiently suspected” of breaking the law.The United States appealed, and last year a higher Austrian court overturned Bauer’s ruling. That decision is under final review.But, Firtash’s lawyers point out, the Americans did not share a vital piece of information with the Austrian courts: After the prosecutors spent months insisting that Exhibit A proved that the oligarch had recommended bribes, it emerged in the United States that the document had in fact been written by consultants from McKinsey.In response to questions from The Times, Dan Webb, one of Firtash’s lawyers and a former U.S. attorney in Chicago, said his client had nothing to do “with the creation or presentation of the PowerPoint slide proposing bribery and used by U.S. prosecutors to support extradition of Firtash.” He accused prosecutors of falsely telling Austrian officials that the slide constituted “clear proof” that Firtash was behind the bribery scheme, adding that “U.S. prosecutors never withdrew their false statement.”The U.S. attorney’s office in Chicago did not respond to messages seeking comment.While McKinsey declined to provide its full report to The Times, it said it contained a section “noting unique risks that an association with Firtash would pose.” The firm said it was cooperating with the Justice Department and was not the focus of the investigation.For its part, Boeing said in a statement that it had cooperated with the Justice Department and was “not accused of any wrongdoing.”c.2018 New York Times News Service Related Itemslast_img read more