The exiled Russian media tycoon Vladimir Gusinsky is being questioned in Israel. It is reported he arrived in Jerusalem voluntarily from the US to give testimony in connection with one of Israel’s biggest money-laundering inquiries in recent years. Police are looking into what they say are illegal activities at the country’s largest bank, Hapoalim. Gusinsky holds Israeli citizenship and is an investor in a group which runs several media outlets.
He was one of the oligarchs who rose to prominence during the Yeltsin era. He fled Russia five years ago after being charged with fraud and stealing state property. He claimed the real motive was that his television station NTV had angered President Vladimir Putin with its critical coverage of the Kremlin.
Israeli police suspect that sums equivalent to hundreds of millions of euros were deposited at Hapoalim. The investigation involves clients as far away as France and Russia.