Key witness in Preet Bharara’s Russian probe just fell from fourth floor of building

A critical witness in a Russian mob-operated money laundering scheme may have just been forcibly thrown from a fourth floor window.

Nikolai Gorokhov, who is the attorney representing the family of anti-Putin lawyer Sergei Magnitsky, is still alive but in intensive care with severe head injuries, according to the Daily Beast. The Beast also reports that Gorokhov was a witness in recently fired U.S. attorney Preet Bharara’s investigation of a Russian money laundering ring operating out of New York City. BBC reporter Daniel Sandford tweeted that Gorokhov was due in court this week to testify before a grand jury on what he knew, citing British financier Bill Browder of Hermitage Capital:

Bizarrely, the Kremlin appears to be floating a narrative that Gorokhov was helping winch up a bathtub with four other workers (who were uninjured) when he fell, rather than being forcibly thrown out of the window. Some of Sandford’s followers were skeptical of the narrative, wondering what a lawyer was doing helping to move a bathtub.

In his own investigation, Magnitsky learned that officials working within Russia’s Interior Ministry and its tax bureau were members of the Klyuev Group. In a 2012 letter to President Obama, Senator John McCain (R-Arizona) described the group as a “dangerous transnational criminal organization” which is allegedly involved in “numerous international crimes.” Sen. McCain equated the Klyuev Group with the Sinaloa drug cartel, which is one of Mexico’s most ruthless organized drug smuggling and trafficking organizations. Magnitsky was later tortured and killed in jail in 2009, presumably due to his knowledge of the group’s members and activities surrounding tax fraud.

Preet Bharara was counting on the testimony of Gorokhov in order to bust the Klyuev Group. However, President Trump suddenly removed him from his post after he refused Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ order to resign. In addition to the alleged attempt on Gorokhov’s life, Axios noted that seven other prominent Russian officials critical of Vladimir Putin’s regime have all mysteriously died since November of 2016.

 

Tom Cahill is a writer for the Resistance Report based in the Pacific Northwest. He specializes in coverage of political, economic, and environmental news. You can contact him via email at tom.v.cahill@gmail.com, or follow him on Facebook