pascale

” I look with interest at the sardines, I find there elements and that freedom that were typical of Berlusconi’s liberal revolution”.I hope that the ” sardines”, in order not to lose their independence and to ensure that the message they are sending does not lose their authenticity, change their mind about becoming a structured movement or political party. ‘m not only from Forza Italia, I’m Berlusconi. Nobody is more so than me!”

https://www.huffingtonpost.it/entry/io-sto-con-le-sardine-potrei-scendere-in-piazza-con-loro-intervista-a-francesca-pascale_it_5dea6861e4b00149f73f68d1

[April 9 2019 sentence-rigging charge dropped ]

Rome, April 5 – Rome prosecutors requested the shelving of a probe into ex-premier Silvio Berlusconi on alleged sentence-rigging at the Council of State, Italy’s highest administrative court.
Last month the three-time former premier and media magnate was placed under investigation for alleged corruption in legal procedures.
The case concerns a ruling on March 3, 2016, by the Council of State, Italy’s top administrative court, that annulled the obligation for the ex-premier’s holding company to sell a stake held in financial services group Mediolanum.
Berlusconi’s lawyer Niccolo Ghedini told media outlets that he was sure the case would be dropped.

[June 3 2018 Forgive $296 billion of Italian debt? ]
giovanni-tria

Arguing it is “time to abandon many taboos” on the euro, newly-appointed finance minister Giovanni Tria said it is now necessary to find “alternative solutions” to how the eurozone is being regulated.berlusconi18 5

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said while cohesion among members of the single currency bloc was important, “solidarity among euro partners should never lead to a debt union, rather it must be about helping others to help themselves.”

The Chancellor made the remarks when asked about a media report that Italy’s anti-establishment 5-Star Movement and far-right League had planned to ask the European Central Bank to forgive 250 billion euros ($296 billion) of Italian debt.

[May 29 Cottarelli gets Berlusconi backing ]

Former Italian Premier Silvio Berlusconi says he’s open to running for office in Italy’s next parliamentary election as part of the same center-right bloc that won 37 percent of the vote March 4. “I cannot believe I am writing these words, but faced with the alternatives, Berlusconi might not so bad after all.” Esme O’Keeffe

Rome, May 28 – League leader Matteo Salvini that the centre-right coalition will collapse if Silvio Berlusconi’s Forza Italia backs an interim government led by former spending review chief Carlo Cottarelli [Carlo Cottarelli, a former official at the International Monetary Fund].

[ May 13  Berlusconi rehabilitated, may run   ]

pascale berlusconi

Pascale looks on

Berlusconi may run for office.   The ban on the former prime minister seeking or holding public office was due to expire next year but the tribunal ruled that he already had been “rehabilitated”.

[ March 5 2018  Salvini not Berlusconi to lead?   ]

NINTCHDBPICT000389001128

Salvini and Berlusconi – heading for almost 18 percent and 14 percent respectively – appeared to have dominated the wealthier north, with the center-left squeezed into a narrow stretch of central Italy. The League emerged as the senior partner. The role reversal marks a bitter personal defeat for the billionaire media magnate.

[November 12 2017 Berlusconi: “It’s time to put Italy first again” ]

Screenshot 2017-11-12 at 1.34.30 PM - Edited

Silvio Berlusconi, an 81-year-old, arrived at his political homecoming party on the posh island of Ischia last month aboard a fancy yacht alongside his 30-year-old live-in girlfriend Francesca Pascale and his closest advisors. The Sicilian election held on Nov. 5 marked a strong political comeback for Silvio Berlusconi, handing government of the island to a center-right bloc backed by the four-times prime minister. Berlusconi brought his Forza Italia party to a somewhat astonishing victory in regional elections in Sicily when his candidates outperformed expectations on a platform for change which, for the longest-serving elected prime minister in modern Italian history, is a curious promise. But he also embraced an anti-immigration stance promising that Italy would no longer be the welcome mat for migrants. He promised his party would cut taxes and renegotiate some key trade deals, which, as a businessman only he has the smarts and the power to do. “It’s time to put Italy first again,”

[February 28 2016 Silvio Berlusconi and 21-year old Roman Lavinia Palombini and a furious Francesca Pascale ]

berlusconi-pascale-divino-amore_zpsisjdtehy

[June 21 $6.3 billion from Italy shipped to China for sneakers ]

[

More than 4.5 billion euros ($6.3 billion) in proceeds from counterfeiting, prostitution, labour exploitation and tax evasion had been sent to China in less than four years though a money-transfer service called Money2Money. Close to half the €4.5bn, transferred between 2007 and 2010, went through Bank of China branch in Milan. The Bank of China received €758,000 in commission for the transfers. The bank had an exclusive contract with Money2Money. Investigators said they got nowhere when they tried to appeal to Chinese authorities for help. Once the money left Italy, it vanished behind China’s great legal firewall. The case is now stalled in Italian courts, as prosecutors try to notify nearly 300 hard-to-find defendants, most of them Chinese. Prosecutors in Florence have filed a 170-page document to be reviewed by a judge, who will decide whether to file formal charges.
Money laundered through Money2Money was used to buy counterfeit goods in China, which were then smuggled back to Europe, a large import-export firm called the Wenzhou Cereals Oils and Foodstuffs Foreign Trade Corporation, sent tens of thousands of fake Converse sneakers to the United States and Croatia is suspected.

[March 12 Silvio Berlusconi’s acquittal in “bunga bunga” final – Francesca thumbs up]

Signorina Pascale

The President of the  current session of the Court of Cassation Antonio Esposito reads the judgment

The President of the current session of the Court of Cassation Antonio Esposito reads the judgment

The Rome court Corte Suprema di Cassazione, in a ruling that is now definitive, rejected an appeal by Milan prosecutors to overturn the acquittal and to hold a new trial. It upheld Silvio Berlusconi’s acquittal in his infamous “bunga bunga” case.

[February 12 Berlusconi raises 392 million euros ($447 million)]

– Fininvest, the holding company controlled by the family of former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi ,78 years (September 29, 1936), said February 12 it will sell a 7.8% stake in broadcaster Mediaset SpA.. The firm controls a 30% stake in bank Mediolanum , a 50% stake in publishing firm Mondadori and will continue to be the largest investor in Mediaset, with a 33.4% stake. It also controls soccer team A.C. Milan and other activities. But both Mediaset and Mondadori have been struggling with their finances.
The stake is worth 392 million euros ($447 million) at February 12’s closing price. Fininvest said the profits from the sale could also contribute to “investments aimed at portfolio diversification.” In 2005 the company had cut its stake in Mediaset to 34.3 percent from 51 percent.

[February 6 Berlusconi good behavior allows a higher-profile role]

The friends of Gianpaolo Tarantini

The friends of Gianpaolo Tarantini

Silvio Berlusconi will not have to serve the final 45 days of a one-year community service on good behaviour grounds. Berlusconi will also regain his freedom of movement, which was restricted under the order, enabling him to resume a higher-profile role in national politics, despite still being banned from public office.
In a trial in Bari this week, businessman Gianpaolo Tarantini and six other people are charged with having promoted prostitution because, between 2008 and 2009, they organised for 26 different young women to attend parties in various Berlusconi residences.
To a certain extent, this trial involves a replay of the infamous Rubygate trial which in June 2013 found Mr Berlusconi guilty of “abuse of office” and having underage sex with Karim “Ruby” El Mahroug, then aged 17.

That judgment was later overturned by a January 2014 appeal court ruling which acquitted the media tycoon.
At issue then and now is the exact nature of Mr Berlusconi’s parties. Were they, as his defence always claimed, “elegant dinner parties” or were they, as various participants have reported, “bunga, bunga” nights of multiple sexual encounters?

[January 31 Berlusconi’s Forza Italia party in disarray]
former shop assistant

Silvio Berlusconi’s Forza Italia party appeared in disarray after the vote for President on January 31, a political victory for Prime Minister Matteo Renzi.. Berlusconi ordered his party to cast blank ballots after accusing Renzi of betraying what he said was a promise to give him a role in choosing the candidate. Instead, more than 30 refused, opening a wound in the party.

[December 31 Passion spent: Francesca Pascale, in Madrid, to study languages, Berlusconi in Arcore]
All is not well between the media mogul and Francesca Pascale, a former shop assistant and member of the Berlusconi fan club.The couple spent Christmas apart, with Mr Berlusconi at his principal home, Villa San Martino in Arcore. Ms Pascale, meanwhile, was settling into her a new apartment in Madrid, where she hopes to study languages. His legal travails continue as he faces charges of inducing a pimp to commit perjury and of bribing a senator to swap sides in parliament, which he denies.
[September 24 Berlusconi redux, tax case appeal granted]

The Prime Minister met with predecessor Silvio Berlusconi

The Prime Minister met with predecessor Silvio Berlusconi

The European Court of Human Rights has agreed to hear an appeal by former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi against his conviction for tax fraud in August 2013, to examine Berlusconi’s argument that he had been denied a fair trial in the case. A date had been set for the appeal to begin.

[August 6]
Rome, August 6 – Former premier Silvio Berlusconi met August 6 with Premier Matteo Renzi to discuss reforms to Italy’s discredited electoral law, now being debated in parliament. The session in the premier’s office marked the third such meeting between Berlusconi, head of the center-right Forza Italia (FI) political party, and Renzi, who leads the center-left Democratic Party (PD).
The Prime Minister met with predecessor Silvio Berlusconi August 6 in a bid to rally parliamentary support for his reform bill, which was presented with nearly 8000 amendments on its first day in parliament.

“Italy never got out of the recession. If you look at the figures it has stagnated for years,”.

[July 18 Ruby case overturned: Silvio Berlusconi sentence can be restored on appeal]

A Milan appeals court overturned a conviction of former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi of paying for sex with an underage girl and then abusing his power in trying to cover it up. Italian prosecutors can appeal the July 18 decision to Italy’s highest appeals court. The final decision by the country’s highest appeals court isn’t likely to come before next year.
Mr. Berlusconi—who was then prime minister—phoned a Milan police station asking for information about a Moroccan woman, Karima El Mahroug, an underage nightclub dancer nicknamed Ruby Heart-Stealer, who had been detained for allegedly stealing cash. Ms. El Mahroug has always denied the allegations

The billionaire politician was sentenced to seven years in prison as a result of the guilty verdict last year. Mr. Berlusconi, who was also banned from public office and ousted from Italy’s Senate as a result of the tax fraud conviction, has always denied the charges in the sex case, which dates back to May 2010.

Prosecutors alleged that Mr. Berlusconi pressed the police to release the woman, thus constituting abuse of power. They also argue that Mr. Berlusconi sought to have her released to cover up the fact that he had paid her for sex when she was 17. Berlusconi claims that he never had sex with her and that, anyway, she told him she was twenty-four. He admits that he gave her thousands of euros at the end of her first evening at Arcore, and tens of thousands more later, but insists that these were innocent acts of generosity. He instructed the police to release her from custody, he says, because he thought that she was a niece of the former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, and he wanted to avoid straining diplomatic relations. (Mahroug, who was born in Morocco and grew up in Sicily, is not related to Mubarak.)

http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2011/06/06/110606fa_fact_levy?currentPage=all
http://online.wsj.com/articles/silvio-berlusconi-underage-sex-conviction-overturned-1405682830

[June 13]

Arriving at   Fiumicino airport in Rome, former senator of Forza Italy was assigned to the medical facility inside the prison

Arriving at Fiumicino airport in Rome, former senator of Forza Italy was assigned to the medical facility inside the prison

Marcello Dell’Utri was arrested last month on an Interpol warrant in Beirut

Marcello Dell’Utri was arrested last month on an Interpol warrant in Beirut

Marcello Dell’Utri, 72, landed at Rome’s Fiumicino airport on June 13 accompanied by Interpol officials and was handed over to the Italian police, airport authorities said.

An Italian court has sentenced Dell’Utri, who comes from Sicily, to seven years in jail for acting as a go-between for the mafia and the Milan business elite, including Berlusconi’s companies, from 1974 to 1992.
Lebanon extradited Dell’Utri to Italy on June 13 who fled to Beirut in April just before being found guilty of dealings with the Sicilian mafia.

Shares in Berlusconi’s Mediaset rose 3.5 percent on June 12 after reports that Telefonica (Madrid: TEF.MC – news) would make an offer to buy the Italian broadcaster’s stake in Spanish pay-TV group Digital Plus.
[May 13]
Supreme Court of Cassation in Rome has confirmed the sentence imposed on 72-year-old Marcello Dell’Utri by Palermo’s Court of Appeal in March last year.
The longtime ally of ex-premier Silvio Berlusconi is facing extradition to Italy after his arrest last month on an Interpol warrant in Beirut for allegedly fleeing a likely conviction from the supreme court for Mafia association.
“In the period of time we’re talking about a continuous crime,” said prosecutor Aurelio Galasso. Silvio Berlusconi – Italy’s former Prime Minister and one of the world’s most recognisable politicians – did business with the mafia for nearly two decades via his conduit and former senator Marcello Dell’Utri. Judges sentenced Dell’Utri to seven years for mafia association. Three-time premier Berlusconi, 77, has always denied rumours that mob links were behind the large and opaquely sourced investments used to kickstart his construction and media businesses in the 1970s and 1980s. But Supreme Court judges accepted prosecutor Aurelio Galasso’s claim that “for 18 years, from 1974 to 1992, Marcello Dell’Utri was the guarantor of the agreement between Berlusconi and Cosa Nostra”.

[April 15]

Former Prime Minister and current friend Francesca Pascale

In the first sentence against him ever confirmed by Italy’s highest court, former Premier Silvio Berlusconi must spend at least four hours a week in the service of the elderly to repay society for his tax fraud convictionBerlusconi was sentenced to four years for tax fraud, reduced to one year for a general amnesty. The one-year community service order may eventually be reduced by 45 days.

The state prosecutor supported the petition for community service, but asked the court to consider revoking it if Berlusconi insults judges while serving — something he has frequently done as he has fought numerous prosecutions over the years, mostly related to his business dealings.

The media mogul is on trial for political corruption in Naples and under investigation in Milan for witness tampering in trials relating to sex-fueled parties at his villa near Milan. His appeals trial for a conviction for having paid for sex with a minor and using his influence to cover it up is scheduled to open in June. He was sentenced to seven years in jail and given a lifetime political ban, but that has yet to be confirmed.

[December 4 2013]

Marcello Dell'Utri was the

Marcello Dell’Utri was the ” contract broker” of an agreement between Cosa Nostra and Silvio Berlusconi,

Italian Finance Minister Fabrizio Saccomanni says the sidelining of the longtime conservative leader leaves the government led by Prime Minister Enrico Letta “more cohesive and…more determined in the implementation of our program.”
.

Mr. Berlusconi—whose threats earlier this fall to bring down the Letta government made it exceedingly hard for the young coalition to govern—was stripped of his Senate seat because of a conviction for tax fraud.
.

Mr. Letta is under intense pressure to step up the pace of reforms aimed at freeing up Italy’s sclerotic economy.
.

The premier is hoping the government will survive until 2015, giving it time to cut taxes, ease labor laws and lower unemployment.
.

Mr. Saccomanni said Italy’s economy is slowly on the mend after what he described as a “deep depression.” The Italian economy has contracted for nine quarters in a row, and the government expects little more than anemic growth next year.
.

With a stronger majority in Parliament, the government should “operate with a more medium-term perspective than the one we have been obliged to have until now,” .

After months in which the Letta government teetered on the brink of collapse, European policy makers have publicly fretted over the ability of Rome to enact serious overhauls and keep its debt—currently more than 130% of gross domestic product—under control. Some regard chronic instability in Italy, the euro one’s third-largest economy, as the major threat to the currency bloc.

EU Economic and Monetary Affairs Commissioner Olli Rehn said that Italy has “no margins [to] maneuver.” He also expressed skepticism as to whether Mr. Letta’s government would manage, for instance, to achieve its ambitious privatization program.

[November 5]

Italian Senators will vote on November 27 on whether to expel center-right leader Silvio Berlusconi from parliament following his conviction for tax fraud, officials from the main parties said on Tuesday.

[October 23]
Italian ex-PM Silvio Berlusconi has been ordered to stand trial for the alleged bribery of a senator.
‘m
Berlusconi is accused of paying the left-wing senator 3m euros ($3.9m) to defect to his party in 2006 and help bring down the government.

The senator, Sergio De Gregorio, was sentenced to 20 months on October 23 at a plea bargain hearing in Naples.

[October 19]

The Court of Appeal of Milan ruled on October 19 that former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi should be barred from holding public office for two years following a conviction for tax fraud.

However, since Berlusconi is a senator, the court’s decision will have no immediate effect and his expulsion from the Senate will depend on a separate vote in the upper house of parliament, expected to take place next month.

Bulgarian actress, producer and director Michelle Bonev has described her nights at his Arcore home. “This is how it works. At the end of the party, each girl has a request to make to him because she came to get something – a part in a film, a python handbag, a… to pay the rent, the electricity, the gas. He would stay in the room. We all went out and sat on the sofas. Then he would listen to what we wanted, one by one like the godfather”

The appellate court was ordered by Italy’s highest court to determine the length of the political ban accompanying his tax fraud conviction and four-year jail term after prosecutors conceded sentencing errors in the original five-year ban.

[October 3]

Prime minister Enrico Letta, the centre-left leader of the government won the Italian senate confidence vote with a sweeping majority. Only 70 of 305 MPs voted against; 235 MPs voted for. Berlusconi – the man who triggered the crisis and spent days clamouring for the government’s downfall – was one of them. Berlusconi been forced into a humiliating climbdown by a rebel faction of his own MPs, 32 senators voting with their leader, 24 absenting themselves, and 25 against him. He is scheduled for expulsion from the senate and the enforcement of his commuted one-year sentence, at the moment.
[September 29]
“In the end it’s all up to the PDL, I think there’s a deep debate taking place within the PDL.” Italian Prime Minister Enrico Letta
20 senators of Berlusconi’s People of Liberty, or PDL, are ready to form a breakaway group if the ex-premier doesn’t back down on his confrontation with Letta, perhaps. Letta needs 24 votes in the Senate to secure a new majority without Berlusconi. To do so, the 47-year-old premier must win over opposition lawmakers or convince members of Berlusconi’s People of Liberty party to abandon their leader.
[September 23]
Silvio Berlusconi was forced from office at the height of the euro zone debt crisis in November 2011. 54th Prime Minister of Italy Mario Monti ‘s efforts to deregulate services and labor laws were squashed by the parties that propped up his government before Italians gave him a resounding thumbs down at an election in February 2013 which produced no clear winner.

The resulting left-right coalition government led by Enrico Letta has bickered from the moment it took office and prospects for both growth and the debt have continued to worsen.

The economy shrinking 1.7 percent this year, down from a 1.3 percent contraction forecast in April, and it cut 2014 growth to 1.0 percent from 1.3 percent. Most analysts see growth of 0.7 percent at best next year.

Italy’s political situation has made no more progress than its economy, dimming prospects for the reforms needed to turn things around.

Italy’s medium term growth potential is now close to zero due to its failure to reduce costs and bureaucracy, tackle corruption or reform the justice system.
Since the days of the deepest crisis (in 2011) Italy has done nothing to improve its competitiveness, As a result its prospects for sustained debt reduction are non-existent.

Letta cuts a far more sober and reassuring figure than Berlusconi, but his ruling coalition is just as unruly and is deeply divided on economic policy.

Speculation has risen that there will be a new election in spring and on September 22 Economy Minister Fabrizio Saccomanni threatened to resign as the government squabbled over whether to suspend a hike in sales tax due to take effect in October.

[September 17]

Fininvest, The family holding company of former Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi was ordered on Tuesday to pay 494 million euros in damages stemming from the disputed purchase of publisher Mondadori.
The final ruling by Italy’s top appeals court was a fresh blow to Berlusconi, 76, already reeling from a supreme court verdict which confirmed a four-year jail sentence last month, commuted to one year, for massive fraud at his Mediaset television empire.

[september 7]

Marcello Dell'Utri was the

Marcello Dell’Utri was the ” contract broker” of an agreement between Cosa Nostra and Silvio Berlusconi,

The judges of the Third Criminal Chamber of the Court of Appeal of Palermo in the written judgment in which the former senator of the PDL was sentenced on March 25 to seven years in prison for collusion with the Mafia. The Court has also found payments solicited by the Mafia to Berlusconi “as the price of protection,” and that according to the judges began in 1974, with a request for 100. million lire

Disgraced ex-premier Silvio Berlusconi made a 20-year pact with Mafia bosses to whom he paid millions of euros in exchange for protection and help with his business empire, according to a judicial report.

The tycoon’s deal with the mob was described by judges of the Palermo Appeals Court as part of their 476-page reasoning, released on September 5, behind the jail sentence for his Mafia association given to Berlusconi’s close friend Marcello Dell’Utri.

The judges say that Dell’Utri, a Palermo-born former senator in Berlusconi’s PDL (People of Freedom) Party, was the mogul’s go-between with the Cosa Nostra for 20 years, up until 1992, the year in which the Mafia assassinated two prosecutors in bomb attacks.

[August 24]

How was the play, Mrs. Lincoln

How was the play, Mrs. Lincoln

But while the crisis is leaving the Letta government’s prospects dim, Berlusconi’s Mediaset seems to have shrugged off the news. The shares have been on a tear so far this year, nearly tripling in value from their all-time low of €1.16 ($1.52) set in December by the end of July (the Supreme Court ruling was Aug. 1). They’ve been mostly flat since then, but they have still outperformed the Italian Stock Exchange’s blue chip index over that period, closing trading Friday at €3.36 ($4.40). Several investment banks have upgraded Mediaset’s ratings in recent weeks, judging that the tycoon’s political and legal woes are likely to have limited impact on the company’s day-to-day operations.
[August 14]
“Any definitive sentence, and the subsequent requirement to apply it, must be accepted,” Italian President Giorgio Napolitano said August 13 in an e-mailed statement. “That goes for the case at the center of attention today as with every other one.”
Napolitano noted that Silvio Berlusconi would not be expected to go to jail. Because of his age, the billionaire businessman is likely to serve the sentence under house arrest or doing community service.
Five Star Movement Founder Beppe Grillo, head of the biggest opposition party in parliament, said Napolitano was too lenient with Berlusconi and called on the president to resign.

[August 6]

Berlusconi already has a successor lined up — his daughter Marina. Marina is Berlusconi’s oldest daughter from his first marriage and has always been her father’s favorite. Despite having dropped out of university, Marina was installed as the chief executive of her father’s media company at the tender age of 30, making her — according to Forbes — the most influential woman in Italy.
On Facebook and fansites, she presents herself as a friend of Silvio’s fiancée Francesca Pascale. Marina, who is approaching her 47th birthday, doesn’t seem to mind the age gap. Her father’s new belle is only 27. In recent days, Marina has been a part of all high-level party meetings, a noticeable change from the past. Indeed, Berlusconi used to be fond of saying that he didn’t want his daughter to have to suffer as he has. Now, according to various Italian media outlets, Berlusconi has confided in a select few that his daughter should stand in the upcoming election. Berlusconi-owned “Il Giornale” has also predicted that Marina would perhaps throw her hat into the ring in her father’s place. The affection between father and daughter is clearly mutual. Despite marrying a ballet dancer and having two children of her own, Silvio remains his daughter’s main man. She refuses to tolerate even the slightest criticism of him. And there are other similarities as well: Marina and Silvio both enjoy a good dye job and the occasional surgical intervention. She is the daughter of Silvio Berlusconi with his first wife Carla Elvira Lucia Dall’Oglio, and is the elder sister of the businessman Pier Silvio Berlusconi. She is married to Maurizio Vanadia.

Marina Berlusconi Vanadia, 47 year-old university dropout

[August 4]

On August 1 Berlusconi was ordered to serve four years in prison, a sentence that has been commuted to one year under a 2006 amnesty and will consist, due to his age, of detention under house arrest or community service rather than jail.

The five judges of the court of cassation ordered another part of the previous sentence – a ban on public office – to be re-evaluated by a lower court. “If there is not a reform of the justice system we are ready for elections,” he told his followers. “This alliance is now unsustainable. The PD should draw up an exit strategy,” Pippo Civati, a centre-left MP, was quoted as saying. “Let’s pass the electoral law, then go straight back to the polls.” Whatever the government’s fate, Mr. Berlusconi isn’t about to start serving his sentence or lose his seat. He has until mid-October to decide whether to serve the year’s sentence at home or perform some socially useful service. And Senate procedures to strip him of his post will likely take months.

[July 10]
The Court of Cassation has decided to schedule an appeal in the media mogul’s tax fraud trial for July 30, months earlier than expected. The high court said it moved up the date to prevent the statute of limitations from expiring on one of the charges on Aug. 1. A high court decision could see former Premier Silvio Berlusconi banned for years from public office.
Although Berlusconi isn’t in the government himself, steady support from his center-right People of Freedom party is necessary to keep Premier Enrico Letta’s 10-week-old government alive, since Letta’s center-left Democratic Party doesn’t have enough support in Parliament to control both houses.
[June 25]
On June 19, Italy’s Constitutional Court rejected a procedural challenge related to Berlusconi’s October conviction for tax fraud. The tax-fraud conviction, upheld on appeal last month, carries a four-year prison sentence and five-year ban from public office. The final appeal for that case, involving Berlusconi’s related to the acquisition by his media company Mediaset SpA of television and film rights almost a decade ago., is underway. Mediaset, Italy’s dominant private television broadcaster, bought U.S. film and television rights at inflated prices, allowing the company to fraudulently lower its tax bill. Mediaset itself wasn’t charged. Separately, Mr. Berlusconi has appealed his conviction and the four-year jail term handed down by the lower court. Both were upheld last month by an appeals court, but a standard second appeal is pending.
Berlusconi has, according to his own estimate, been the subject of some 2,500 court hearings. But, incredibly enough, the former prime minister has yet to serve a sentence:
• 1990: Berlusconi is found guilty of perjury for providing false testimony regarding his membership in Propaganda Due, a subversive and illegal Masonic lodge. Amnesty granted in 1989 saves him from actual sentencing.
• 1994: Berlusconi faces corruption charges over subsidiaries of his company Fininvest paying bribes totaling $240,000 to tax inspectors. In 1998, he is sentenced to 33 months in prison, which he never serves because the statute of limitations expires during an appeal.
• 1995: Berlusconi is found guilty of falsifying documents during Fininvest’s acquisition of the Medusa film company. In 2001 he is acquitted, and thus never serves a mandated 16-month prison sentence.
• 1998: In his second conviction in a week, Berlusconi is sentenced to 28 months in jail for using an offshore company to bribe former Italian Prime Minister Bettino Craxi. An appeals court throws out the charges a year later because the statute of limitations has expired.
• 2002: The Italian Parliament passes a bill allowing defendants to appeal for a change of venue if there is “legitimate suspicion” that the judge involved in a case is biased. Berlusconi uses the legislation to his advantage by dragging charges out past the statute of limitations (he will go on to evade false accounting charges through other laws passed by his government).
• 2013: An appeals court upholds charges of tax fraud against Berlusconi after he is initially sentenced to four years in prison and banned from public office for five years in 2012. Berlusconi is now appealing the verdict to Italy’s highest court, which has yet to issue a final verdict.

aka Ruby

aka Ruby

A Milan court on June 24 convicted former Italian Premier Silvio Berlusconi of paying for sex with an underage prostitute during infamous “bunga bunga” parties at his villa and then using his influence to try to cover it up.

Berlusconi, 76, was sentenced to seven years in prison and barred from public office for life — a sentence that could mean the end of his two-decade political career. However, there are two more levels of appeal before the sentence would become final, a process that can take months.

[October 14 2011]

Le Monde publishes excerpts from DSK explanation
Given the “lack of sufficient elements of proof” uncovered by the police, “an investigation into attempted rape cannot be undertaken,” the public prosecutors’ office said.
The leader of the UMP Jean-Francois Cope held Monday “pathetic and sad” the intervention of Dominique Strauss-Kahn yesterday on TF1, saying “shocked” hints at a possible conspiracy. 7sur7
The leader of majority party said he was “deeply” shocked by the assumption of a trap that could have been stretched to DSK. figaro
google translation

Sweden’s Economic Crime Authority is carrying out a search at Swedbank’s head office in relation to an ongoing investigation into whether the bank breached insider trading regulations, the authority said on December 18 2019. Sweden’s Economic Crime Authority in February launched an investigation into Swedbank over allegations the lender informed some investors of a news report linking the bank to a Baltic money-laundering scandal before the information was made public.

Sweden’s Swedbank (SWEDa.ST) repeated on December 20 2019 that there was a risk it had been used to launder money, in a response to requests for comment by the Estonian and Swedish financial watchdogs on their separate probes into the bank.

[November 2 2019]

The Swedish and Estonian authorities now have decided upon initiating sanction processes, Swedbank is alleged to have processed suspect gross transactions of up to 20 billion euros ($22 billion) a year from mostly Russian non-residents through Estonia from 2010 to 2016

[October 1 2019 ‘historical shortcomings’ jobs lost ]

Stockholm-based Swedbank’s former Estonia chief executive Robert Kitt, who had been suspended since June, has now lost his job. Vaiko Tammevali, who had been chief financial officer at Swedbank in Estonia before being suspended in June, also lost his job, as did Kaie Metsla, the current head of the bank’s private customer division. The decision to remove the executives was based on “information concerning historical shortcomings connected to anti-money laundering work,”

[Match 9 2019 Now Nordea/Luminor, Swedbank ]

Leaked documents indicate that at least 700 million euros — part of it from suspicious transfers — ended up in accounts held in Nordea banking group, and that some 200 million was transferred to accounts in Finland. Nordea’s customers also included hundreds of sham companies whose real owners are almost impossible to identify. The Estonian, Latvian and Lithuanian operations of Norway’s largest bank DNB were merged in 2017 with Nordea’s business in the region to form Luminor, the third-largest Baltic bank. Nordea and DNB agreed to sell a 60 percent stake in Luminor to a Blackstone private equity consortium for 1 billion euros in September and said the deal was expected to close during the first half of 2019.

https://wp.me/pEe9-1mP

At least 40 billion Swedish crowns ($4.25 billion) had moved between Swedbank and Danske accounts between 2007 and 2015.  Swedbank AB allegedly handled $176 million connected to the death of Sergei Magnitsky.  Swedbank provided services to Russian oligarchs and deposed Ukraine President Viktor Yanukovych it is charged.

77 Swedbank Baltic accounts received $18 million from 13 Danske Estonian accounts
The biggest share of the $176 million in transactions was tied to Ukio Bank, a Lithuanian bank that was declared bankrupt in 2013
590 Swedbank accounts in the Baltics and Sweden received $158 million from 102 Ukio accounts
50 Swedbank accounts in Sweden received around $2.4 million from 31 Ukio accounts opened by shell companies located in Belize and the British Virgin Islands.
The money flowed in both directions: 91 Swedbank accounts held by individuals and businesses sent $92 million to 46 Ukio accounts

[February 21 2019    enter SEC, Estonia arrests 10   ]

Estonia has arrested 10 former employees of the local branch of Danske Bank as part of an international investigation into alleged money laundering.”The suspects are the so-called first line of defence, client managers whose job was to make sure money laundering does not happen,” prosecutor-general Lavly Perling said.

The 10 people have not been charged, but under Estonian law can be held for 48 hours without formal charges.
“The information disclosed by (Swedish TV) is very serious and together with our Estonian colleagues we will thoroughly investigate the matter to make a comprehensive and in-depth assessment,” the Swedish Financial Supervisory Authority’s Director General Erik Thedeen said in a statement.

[February 20 2019]

Allegations are linking Swedbank to suspicious transactions in the country involving Danske Bank, Estonia’s state prosecutor said: at least 40 billion Swedish crowns ($4.30 billion) had been transferred between accounts at Swedbank and Danske in the Baltics between 2007 and 2015. “This does not automatically mean (or exclude) that a bank receiving payments in a possible money laundering operation has committed a crime or has breached the bank’s requirement to know its client and identify suspicious circumstances,”

50 of Swedbank’s customers that show several risk indicators of suspected money laundering have funneled a total of USD 5.8 billion through the bank.

[January 7 2019]

Unexplained-Wealth-Orders
In the case of Danske Bank, the names of the original individuals and organizations believed to have engineered the illicit flows of cash from Russia and Azerbaijan are still unknown. So, too, are the beneficial owners of the UK-based companies registered in various Caribbean islands that accepted the funds. Unexplained Wealth Orders (UWOs), were created under the British Criminal Act of 2017 and have been effective since the start of 2018.

logo

We are currently looking for a Transformation Consultant who can help us enable the agile transformation of Danske Bank and realize our ambitious strategic targets.

Agile Transformation supports and facilitates the adoption of agile ways of working in Danske Bank across all business units. We are a group of engaged colleagues working with customer experience, organizational capability building, agile coaching and agile execution as well as high performing teams. We work cross-functionally and liaise and collaborate closely with the global development organizations of 2,600 employees who handle our customers end-to-end in our endeavour to adopt agile ways of working.

russianlaundromat - Edited

. What is clear is that the Danske Bank scandal has underscored that Russia’s economic revival and gradual integration into the global economy hang in the balance.   Two hundred billion euros is a substantial sum of money, but only a fraction of the estimated $800 billion held offshore by rich Russians. To put this number in perspective, it is equal to the current wealth of all Russian households

https://wp.me/pEe9-ZM

[ October 17 2018]

Jacob Aarup-Andersen, 40, the Danske board’s choice to take over the helm of Denmark’s biggest bank, was rejected by the country’s financial regulator on the grounds that he wasn’t experienced enough.“This can’t be interpreted as anything other than a slap in the face,” said Per Hansen, economist at investment firm Nordnet.
The Danske Bank Scandal Is the Tip of the Iceberg According to the report, two of the main perpetrators were the Russian and Azerbaijani “Laundromat” operations.

The Russian and Azerbaijani Laundromats were central to the fraud taking place at Danske Bank’s Estonian branch. The Laundromats were criminal financial vehicles that helped to launder money worldwide through shell companies by using fraud, the rigging of state contracts, and customs and tax evasion. The Russian Laundromat worked between 2011 and 2014 by creating 21 “core” companies in the United Kingdom, Cyprus, and New Zealand.

These companies generated fake debt, then obtained a Moldovan court order that required 19 Russian companies pay these debts to Moldova-based Moldindconbank and Latvia-based Trasta Komercbanka. Once out of Russia, the money was transferred all around the world, accounting for 26,746 payments totaling $20.8 billion to 5,140 companies with accounts at 732 banks in 96 countries. At Danske Bank, 177 customers received payments from these core companies.

Similarly, the Azerbaijani Laundromat used a series of shell companies to disguise the origin of $2.9 billion that is suspected to come from the family of Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev. This Laundromat worked as a slush fund to pay off politicians, siphon off private funding, and launder money. While much of this scheme is still under investigation, 75 customers of Danske Bank are implicated, and the Estonian branch handled the accounts of all four major companies involved in the Azerbaijani Laundromat.

[October 11 2018   Andrei Kozlov murdered for informing to Danes ?   ]

Andrei Kozlov, the first deputy chairman of the Russian Central Bank traveled to Estonia in the summer of 2006 to warn the authorities that a money-laundering scheme had been established in the tiny Baltic financial sector: the $200 billion Danske Bank scandal. Sept. 13, 2006, three strangers approached Kozlov at the Spartak Moscow sports complex in northeast Moscow. They fired a volley of shots that struck Kozlov and his driver.
Kozlov became the third dead Russian who can be linked to the Danske scandal after Alexander Perepilichnyy, whose company used the bank’s Estonia branch, died in suspicious circumstances in Britain, and Sergei Magnitsky, a Russian lawyer who was investigating the theft of $230 million when he died in Russian custody. It is claimed that the vast majority of the proceeds of that theft were laundered through Danske Bank.

[ October 6 2018  Lantana Trade had Putin family as beneficial owners   ]

danske - Edited

Howard Wilkinson laid out how a UK-based limited liability partnership (LLP) called Lantana Trade “apparently” had beneficial owners that included “the Putin family and the FSB”, the Russian intelligence services.

Danske Bank (DANSKE.CO) said in a statement it had “received requests for information from the US Department of Justice in connection with a criminal investigation relating to the bank’s Estonian branch conducted by the DoJ,” and was cooperating.   News of a U.S. Department of Justice investigation has caused panic. The bank’s shares were dumped and some bondholders are even wondering whether Danske might start having trouble making interest payments on its riskiest debt.The scale of the bank’s Estonian money laundering scandal has shocked the world. Over a nine-year period, about $235 billion flowed through a tiny unit in the Baltic country, much of it suspicious, Danske said last month. Besides the U.S. probe, Danske is being investigated in Denmark, Estonia, Switzerland and the U.K. Separate investigations will examine the extent to which the bank’s regulators and auditors acted appropriately.
It said of the approximately 6,200 accounts it had examined so far that most were linked to clients registered in Russia, Britain and the British Virgin Islands and “the vast majority of these customers have been deemed suspicious”.

[September 20 2018   Russians warned Danes about laundered billions in 2007   ]

estonian$

Thomas F Borgen

Danske Bank’s (DANSKE.CO) chief executive Thomas Borgen quit on Wednesday, September 19, following an investigation into payments totaling some 200 billion euros ($234 billion) through its Estonian branch, many of which the Danish bank said were suspicious.   Denmark wanted to avoid a scenario like the one in Latvia where ABLV was accused by U.S. authorities of covering up money laundering, leading to the bank being denied U.S. dollar funding and collapsing.

– I’m sorry for that. Although the external attorney’s opinion concludes that I have lived up to my legal obligations, I think the right thing for all parties is that I retire, Thomas F. Borgen writes in the announcement. In 2017 Thomas Borgen received a total salary of NOK 17.4 million. 11.5 million were pay, pension amounted to 2.2 million kroner, while bonuses in the form of cash and shares amounted to 3.7 million kroner.

According to the details of the contract, Thomas Borgen can leave the bank with at least NOK 13.7 million, which is the basic salary.

At the same time, Thomas Borgen will be able to keep his shares and the shares he has received as part of his incentive program.

At the end of 2017, Thomas Borgen had 18,121 shares in his incentive program and owned 40,902 shares. At Wednesday’s rate, it is worth a total of NOK 9.6 million.

Born: March 27, 1964, Sarpsborg, Norway

Thomas Borgen is a Bachelor of Business Organization from Heriot Watt University in Edinburgh and holds an MBA from Syracuse University in New York.
The bank is being investigated by the Danish bakers’ police, Estonia and allegedly also the US authorities.

In June 2007, Danish Financial Supervisory Authority received a letter in which the Russian Central Bank expressed concern about so-called non-resident customers in Sampo Bank Estonia, purchased by Danske Bank in the same year. The letter states that customers in Sampo Bank participated in ‘financial transactions of dubious origin’ for ‘billions of rubles monthly’.

“The transactions mentioned may be aimed at tax and customs evasion when importing goods,” the Russian Central Bank wrote in the warning and continued:

“Or they can be associated with criminal activity in their purest form, including money laundering.”

Thus, Danske Bank missed “this first clear opportunity” to respond, concludes law firm Bruun Hjejle, who has prepared the survey.

Motherless Brooklyn

15 December, 2019

Box Office December 12 2019
Grosses
DOMESTIC (61.1%)
$9,259,297
INTERNATIONAL (38.9%)
$5,900,000
WORLDWIDE
$15,159,297
Motherless Brooklyn’s imposing length requires patience, but strong performances and a unique perspective make this a mystery worth investigating.

62%
TOMATOMETER

[October 29 2010 L.A. premiere ]
motherless - Edited
Edward Norton, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Seth Rogen, Minnie Driver and more were among the stars to attend the L.A. premiere of “Motherless Brooklyn” on Oct. 28, 2019

 

 

 

[October 13 2019 at New York Film Festival ]

Screenshot 2019-10-13 at 8.37.31 PM - Edited

Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Edward Norton

Motherless Brooklyn was the closing selection at the New York Film Festival and New York premiere in a screening at Alice Tully Hall on October 11, 2019

[March 3 2019 Gugu Mbatha-Raw toplines a dystopian fantasy by Julia Hart ]
51110195_384113712437491_5767020166427366950_n
March 29 2019 marks the release of writer-director Julia Hart’s “Fast Color.” Starring Gugu Mbatha-Raw. Writing with her producer husband, Jordan Horowitz (La La Land), Julia Hart has fashioned Fast Color, a tale of matriarchal inheritance.
Opening Night (May 4) guests Gugu Mbatha-Raw (Belle, A Wrinkle in Time) and producer/co-writer Jordan Horowitz (La La Land) with their film Fast Color. It’s a favorite from the SXSW Film Festival, about a woman whose superhero powers send her on the run.

[March 28 2019 Gugu Mbatha-Raw and Bruce Willis star in Motherless Brooklyn (2019) ]

gugu

Gugu Mbatha-Raw

motherless brooklyn

Set against the backdrop of 1950s New York, Motherless Brooklyn follows Lionel Essrog, a lonely private detective afflicted with Tourette’s Syndrome, as he ventures to solve the murder of his mentor and only friend, Frank Minna. Norton also is listed as director and writer. Willis, Willem Dafoe and Alec Baldwin are also in the cast. Set against the backdrop of 1950s New York, Motherless Brooklyn follows Lionel Essrog, a lonely private detective afflicted with Tourette’s Syndrome, as he ventures to solve the murder of his mentor and only friend, Frank Minna.

“Motherless Brooklyn,” the film being shot in the Harlem building, 773 St Nicholas Ave, New York, NY 10031, that caught fire Thursday night, March 22, has been a passion project for Edward Norton, who spent nearly 20 years trying to get the film off the ground.

The film is an adaptation of Jonathan Lethem’s acclaimed 1999 novel about a detective with Tourette syndrome living in 1950s Brooklyn. In addition to playing the lead role, Norton also wrote the script and serves as producer and director — only his second time behind the camera after the 2000 comedy “Keeping the Faith.” Norton first began trying to adapt Lethem’s novel the year it was published and had announced the project as a go in 2014.

The film, which also stars Bobby Cannavale,  Cherry Jones, began shooting in New York City in February. It also touched down at two Long Island locations — Gold Coast Studios in Bethpage and, earlier this week, the Wantagh State Parkway near Jones Beach.

Norton went on to say in his Instagram message that media reports stating the fire “started on the set” of his movie are incorrect.

St. Nick’s Jazz Pub closed its doors in 2011, but Edward Norton chose to use the Harlem locale as a set for his upcoming movie Motherless Brooklyn.

“It appears to have started in the basement cellar of the building we were working in. We were filming in a bar and an apartment within the building and our crew noticed smoke rising up into where we were working,”

Many of you know that the crew of our film ‘Motherless Brooklyn’ experienced a dramatic and ultimately tragic event on Thursday night, in which a fire engulfed the building we were working in and an FDNY firefighter died fighting the blaze. Thanks to the many, many people who have written to us supportively. Our team’s formal statement on the event is here in the slideshow. It has been reported in some news outlets that the fire ‘started on the set’. This is incorrect. It appears to have started in the basement cellar of the building we were working in. We were filming in a bar and an apartment within the building and our crew noticed smoke rising up into where we were working. It has been reported that I was the one who smelled smoke and raised an alarm. This is incorrect. I was outside setting up a shot outside the building. Our fantastic 1st AD was the first to notice the smell of smoke before anyone even saw it and it was he and others on the crew who acted decisively and quickly to try to locate the source of the smoke, evacuate cast and crew, call the fire department and then rapidly move our equipment and vehicles away so that the FDNY had clear access. I cannot praise the professionalism of our crew highly enough. Had our team not noticed the situation and responded and alerted the fire department with the speed they did, I believe the residents of the building above would have perished. And though we described what we saw the FDNY do in our statement and articulated our feelings, it’s worth doubling down. I have never witnessed firsthand that kind of bravery. I’m in awe of that kind of selfless courage. It’s devastating to contemplate that one of the men we watched charging in there lost his life. Please send a prayer of thanks for the spirit and courage of Michael Davidson. Our team is committed to honoring him and assisting his family and, in due course, when we can determine with his family what form they’d like that to take, I’ll pass along any information I have about a verified way people can contribute.

A post shared by Edward Norton (@edwardnortonofficial) on

[March 6 2018 Elisabeth Shue in Death Wish, “really about family” ]

shue 2018

Elisabeth Shue “Death Wish” (2018)

“I wanted to really make it about family, and stick to the central issue of what would you do if this happened to your family,” director Eli Roth said. “The movie for me really is about family and protecting your family and what do you do when you can’t get justice for your family?”
Death Wish (MGM), 2,847 theaters / $4.2m Fri (includes $650K previews)/$5.2M Sat/ $3.5M Sun/3-day: $$13,025,000 /Wk 1(+23% on Saturday)

Domestic Total as of Mar. 21, 2018: $31,104,759

Domestic Total as of Mar. 16, 2018: $27,533,685

Domestic Total as of Mar. 11, 2018: $23,856,431

Domestic Total as of Mar. 9, 2018: $19,012,301
Elisabeth Shue gets killed off early in the film. “I get shot in the head, they have special effects to stop your eyes and to stop your breathing,” she says of the film, which centers on a man avenging the brutal murder of his wife. Willis’s last official movie, “Extraction,” made $16,775 domestic so “Death Wish” can only go up from there.

Donald Trump cited the 1974 vigilante film ‘Death Wish’ to defend the Second Amendment at a Nashville rally, October 3, 2015. Trump encouraged the Nashville crowd to repeatedly chant “Death Wish!” before alerting them, “Today you can’t make that movie because it’s not politically correct.”

Death Wish given MGM’s TV deals is in the black after ancillaries.

Based on early Friday, March 2 returns, Death Wish is projected to open in the $12 million-$13 million range from 2,847 theaters after earning $650,000 in previews.   The movie, cost a reported $30 million to produce after tax rebates and incentives.

[March 3 Elisabeth Shue stars in Splat Pack remake of Death Wish, March 2 ]

Releases March 2 (Friday)
Death Wish
Red Sparrow
Foxtrot (Limited)
Souvenir (Limited)
Submission (Limited)
The Vanishing of Sidney Hall (Limited)

Death Wish is MGM’s first self-distributed title in a while, complete with roaring Lion logo and credits. eOne is handling Canada with this $30M production booked at 2,750 locations with Thursday previews at 7PM counting 2,000 locations.

Elisabeth Shue is cast opposite Bruce Willis in Death Wish{2018). In June 2017, it was announced Annapurna Pictures would distribute the film on behalf of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer and release it on November 22, 2017. However, in October 2017, it was announced it was being delayed until March 2, 2018 “in order to evacuate the crowded Thanksgiving season”.

[June 27 2017 Was scheduled to open November 22 ]

31443583044_28f6605c2a

The Wife in Death Wish

Megan Ellison’s Annapurna Pictures distribution operation has set MGM’s “Death Wish” reboot for a Nov. 22 launch.   The new “Death Wish” stars Bruce Willis, Vincent D’Onofrio, Kimberly Elise, Mike Epps, and Elisabeth Shue. It will open against Disney-Pixar’s animated family comedy “Coco” and Broad Green’s comedy “Villa Capri,” starring Morgan Freeman and Rene Russo.

Hulu and Annapurna Pictures have an output-licensing agreement that grants Hulu pay-one window streaming rights following their theatrical release.

[January 13

Bruce Willis will play the role originated by the late Charles Bronson. He will star alongside Elisabeth Shue and Vincent D’Onofrio.
In Chicago,Eli “Hostel” Roth has directed the filming of some action sequences in the Loop and in the Pilsen neighborhood. Most of the picture is being shot in cost-effective and versatile Montreal. Originally released in 1974, the Michael Winner-directed picture relaunched then-53-year-old Charles Bronson’s career and drove the vigilante craze during the ’70s and ’80s. Death Wish spawned four sequels and a reboot has circled Hollywood since Sylvester Stallone expressed interest in the series back in 2006. The first major efforts, though, crystallized in 2012, when a script from Scott Alexander and Larry Karazewski was optioned, with Joe Carnahan to direct. However, after several sets of directors, the MGM/Paramount remake’s future still remained questionable.

Now that Roth is attached, he’ll likely bring his own sensibilities to the reboot. Known for hyperstylized elements similar to those of pop-auteur Quentin Tarantino (a clear influence, citing his NYU student film, Restaurant Dogs), Roth brings his own bloody aesthetic – which got him named as a member of the modern horror influencers, known as the Splat Pack – to Death Wish. Beyond his gruesome methods, though, the filmmaker clearly has a deep appreciation for gritty, grindhouse-style films of the era.

[March 29 2012 House at the End of the Street: releasing after Hunger Games, natch ]

shue house 17

Jennifer Lawrence & Elisabeth Shue

A mother [Elizabeth Shue[and daughter [Jennifer Lawrence] move to a new town and find themselves living next door to a house where a young girl murdered her parents. When the daughter befriends the surviving son, she learns the story is far from over. House at the End of the Street, which just released its first trailer. (Days after Hungers Games’ record-breaking opening weekend. Coincidence? We think not.)

The overall settlement — meant to close out the Weinstein Company’s obligations as it works through bankruptcy proceedings — would reportedly “bring to an end” to nearly all sexual harassment and rape lawsuits against Weinstein.
The settlement would be paid by insurance companies representing the Weinstein Company .
More than $12 million of the current deal would cover legal costs for Weinstein and his brother, as well as other ex-members of the Weinstein Company’s board.

[July 9 2019 on skids? ]

The role of Alan Dershowitz in Epstein case prejudicial here?

A so-called $44 million “global settlement” announced in May of the claims of dozens of women against Weinstein has seemingly hit the skids after various accusers cried foul over the hefty sums being paid out to lawyers and other reps for the now defunct board of the bankrupt The Weinstein Company.

A now July 15-set hearing in front of U.S. Bankruptcy Court Judge Mary Walrath in the District of Delaware may see the settlement matter revived in a discussion over the TWC estate appointing law firm Bernstein Litowitz Berger & Grossmann as special litigation counsel.

harvey-weinstein-bob-weinstein

Bob, l

The money comes from insurance policies.

“We now have an economic agreement in principal that is supported by the plaintiffs, the AG’s office, the defendants and all of the insurers that, if approved, would provide significant compensation to victims, creditors and the estate, and allow the parties to avoid years of costly, time consuming and uncertain litigation on all sides,” Adam Harris, a lawyer for studio co-founder Bob Weinstein, told a bankruptcy court judge in Wilmington, Delaware, on May 23 2019.

.

Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein has reportedly reached a $44 million settlement with a number of UK and US women over allegations of sexual harassment. Mr Weinstein will pay out £24million in compensation and an additional £11million in legal fees.

The money will be divided between 15 alleged victims and creditors who lost money when Mr Weinstein’s studio collapses following the allegations.

According to the Wall Street Journal the settlement was revealed by Adam Harris, a lawyer to Mr Weinstein’s brother.

Addressing a bankruptcy court in Delaware on Thursday he asserted: “We now have an economic agreement in principle that is supported by the plaintiffs, the New York attorney general’s office, the defendants and all of the insurers.”

[2010 Things that aren’t quite deserving ]

Michelle Williams, Alex Orlovsky, Blue Valentine

Michelle Williams, Alex Orlovsky, Blue Valentine

The party was for “The King’s Speech,” which, like “Blue Valentine,” is distributed by the Weinstein Company. So there Derek Cianfrance was, glass in hand, gamely chatting with every comer. “The film deserves it,” Jennifer Ehle, who plays Myrtle Logue, wife of the speech therapist (Geoffrey Rush) said. “It must be such a pleasure if you’re somebody who has a film that you feel getting it out there won’t embarrass you in any way and you can be proud of it. These people –” she gestured to the various publicists and Weinstein assistants lingering over the mixed nuts at the bar -– “must have to do that all the time for things that aren’t quite deserving of it.”

Abdolhossein Khedri

Abdolhossein Khedri

Sanctions for smuggling lethal aid from Iran to Yemen on behalf of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps-Qods Force (IRGC-QF): Khedri Jahan Darya Co is a shipping line that operates out of Iran, and is the registered owner, ship manager, and commercial manager of the merchant vessels Genava 11 and Genava 12. The Genava 12 was suspected of involvement in the transport of IRGC-QF cargo from Iran, ultimately destined to Yemen.

Khedri Jahan Darya Co is being designated pursuant to E.O. 13224 for being owned, controlled, or directed by Abdolhossein Khedri. Furthermore, the Genava 11 and Genava 12 are being identified as property in which Khedri Jahan Darya Co. has an interest.

Maritime Silk Road LLC is a shipping company which, between 2015 and 2017, used the Genava 12 to ship cargo for an IRGC-QF-affiliated company. Maritime Silk Road LLC is being designated pursuant to E.O. 13224 for being owned, controlled, or directed by Abdolhossein Khedri.

Also, MAHAN AIR GENERAL SALES AGENTS

https://wp.me/pEe9-14E

https://wp.me/p1kUZv-ZC

https://wp.me/p1kUZv-M4

Screenshot 2019-12-10 at 6.59.26 PM - Edited

Tornado six miles south of Minco, one mile east of Highway 81.Saturday, May 23rd 2015

Production on the movie Thirteen Minutes started this week in Oklahoma City, El Reno, and Minco.

[November 2 2019]

Screenshot 2019-11-02 at 11.15.16 PM - EditedTrace Adkins, Thora Birch, Peter Facinelli, Anne Heche, Will Peltz and Paz Vega have been set to lead the cast of 13 Minutes, a tornado-driven drama that will mark the feature directing debut of Lindsay Gossling. Shooting starts next month in Oklahoma in the heart of Tornado Alley. Facinelli’s feature film Hour of Lead co-starring Heche and Thomas Jane is now in postproduction.

[April 9 2019 “The Best of Enemies” ]
Screenshot 2019-04-09 at 7.02.10 PM - Edited

The Best of Enemies (2019)
Total Lifetime Grosses
Domestic: $4,776,444
Domestic Summary
Opening Weekend: $4,446,190
(#6 rank, 1,705 theaters, $2,608 average)
% of Total Gross: 93.1%
> View All Weekends
Widest Release: 1,705 theaters
In Release: 4 days / 0.6 weeks

49 Metascore

[February 28 2019 stars in ‘Hour of Lead’ ]

ahecheala - Edited

ca. January 30 2019, Alabama

Anne Heche & Jason Patric Join Thomas Jane In Action-Thriller ‘Hour Of Lead’. Anne Heche (John Q) and Jason Patric (In The Valley Of Elah) are joining Thomas Jane (Predator) in upcoming action-thriller Hour Of Lead from writer-director Peter Facinelli (Breaking & Entering).
The project is the sophomore feature from actor turned producer-director Facinelli (Twilight). Jeff Elliott (Imperium) of Brickell & Broadbridge is producing.

https://wp.me/pEe9-ib

[2018]Laurence Fishburne and Thomas Jane Topline ‘Hour of Lead’ Peter Facinelli’s dark thriller, Hour of Lead, which was being presold at the Cannes market.

Laurence Fishburne (A Nightmare On Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors, The Matrix) and Thomas Jane (Before I Wake, Deep Blue Sea, The Predator, The Mist) are in talks to star in the film. Facinelli, who also wrote the script, is currently shooting the crime drama Running with the Devil with Nicolas Cage and his Hour of Lead co-lead Laurence Fishburne. Peter Facinelli directorial film debut, Breaking & Exiting: “I think for my directorial debut I just thought that I didn’t want it to be some sort of vanity project, so I just wanted to focus on directing.”

Due for release in 2020.., the film is in pre-production. Shoots November 27, in Birmingham, AL…
filming is taking place in Tuscaloosa, Alabama 12/5 through the remainder of December 2018

e60ad339-ecd4-4c5c-9009-014538cc6c3d_w1023_r1_s

Sen. John McCain with Vladimir Filat

Former Moldovan Prime Minister Vladimir Filat, sentenced in 2016 to nine years in prison for abuse of office, was released on parole on December 3 2019 after the Chisinau Court of Appeal reduced his sentence.
February 7 2019 A district judge
at the City of London Magistrates Court approved forfeiture orders on three HSBC accounts linked to Vlad Luca Filat, compelling him to surrender £466,321 (US$600,817).

The funds in the young Filat’s bank accounts are thought to be the proceeds of illegal activity perpetrated by his father, Vladimir Filat, 49. The son’s accounts and expenses were funded by large deposits from overseas companies, including in Turkey and the Cayman Islands.

[December 6 2018 USAF Open Skies OC-135B takes off from Kiev ]

The U.S. Air Force has flown the first observation flight under the much-debated Open Skies Treaty in 2018 over Ukraine. The mission comes as Russian and Ukranian forces hold dueling missile drills amid inflamed tensions following a violent skirmish in the Kerch Strait between the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov.

[November 27 2018   Souda Bay Crete USAF flies close to the Crimean Peninsula   ]

crimeaflight - Edited

[27 November 2018, 7:24 am] According to the Ukrainian military portal, A USAF Boeing RC-135V intelligence aircraft was deployed for a reconnaissance mission headed east.

Flight radar monitors show the plane has been flying close to the Crimean Peninsula, a Russian-held territory in the Black Sea. The jet is said to be flying over the Black Sea after leaving a US naval base at Souda Bay on Crete at 5.50am today. Naval Support Activity (NSA) Souda Bay enables the forward operations and responsiveness of U.S. and allied forces.

[ Moldova laundromat: “we are not going to let it happen any more.” -U.K. ]
The “Laundromat” inquiry demonstrated an alleged Russian-led money laundering scheme, in which $22.3 billion passed through Moldova using Russian shell companies and fictitious loans from offshore companies based in Britain in 2011-2014. [below]

The orders were introduced in the Criminal Finance Act last year but are only now coming into effect. They will force wealthy individuals to explain to UK officials how they acquired assets worth more than £50,000.

Officials estimate that around £90bn of illegal money is laundered through the UK every year.

10 January 2018- The Moscow City Court upheld an order to arrest the Moldovan  oligarch and chairman of the Democratic Party of Moldova, Vladimir Plahotniuc, charged with attempted murder.   The oligarch is charged with attempted murder- possibly connected to the attempted assassination of the Russian banker Herman Gorbuntsov, seriously wounded in London, in 2012.   INTERPOL refused to distribute the international arrest warrant.

Russian assassins have been able to kill in Britain with impunity over the past decade, 17 current and former British and American intelligence officials told BuzzFeed News. The reasons for Britain’s reticence, they said, include fear of retaliation, police incompetence, and a desire to preserve the billions of pounds of Russian money that pour into British banks and properties each year. As a result, Russia is making what one source called increasingly “bold moves” in the UK without fear of reprisals.

[ November 12 2017: U.S. Cav 100 miles from Russia’s Kaliningrad ]

usmoldova2016

CHISINAU, Moldova – May 8, 2016

The U.S. announced Thursday October 12 the arrival of the 2nd Cavalry Regiment in a Polish NATO outpost located about 100 miles from Russia’s militarized enclave of Kaliningrad.

[March 21 Moldova: Russian money laundering on vast scale ]

salaru_nato20cropped

Vladimir  Plahotniuc, right

A money laundering investigation led by police in Moldova and Latvia has been running for three years. Registered firms played a prominent role in the money laundering network – and the UK’s high street banks processed $740m from the operation without turning back any of the payments
The banking records were obtained by the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP) and Novaya Gazeta from sources who wish to remain anonymous. OCCRP shared the data with the Guardian and media partners in 32 countries.

The documents include details of around 70,000 banking transactions, including 1,920 that took place in the UK and 373 in the U.S.
NCA had been in touch with the authorities in Moldova since 2014 about the Global Laundromat, which he described as “big and pretty unusual”.
Twenty million transactions go through the City and in trades through the money markets each day. A vast amount of business, and only a small amount will be money laundering.

“It’s the size of the challenge which is the problem. It’s beyond a human scale. The sophisticated money launderer will know the tolerances that will trigger alerts. There are pretty smart guys out there. This needs more sophisticated solutions than throwing people at it. It’s not just about the size of the staff.

[December 12 2016 Vladimir Plahotniuc, the country’s main nominally pro-European oligarch]

The election of the pro-Russian socialist Igor Dodon as Moldova’s new president obscures the fact that Vladimir Plahotniuc, the country’s main nominally pro-European oligarch won most from the outcome.Throughout the whole of last year and the first half of 2016, the small, poor republic was shaken by anti-government protests in which tens of thousands of angered citizens took to the streets. The catalyst for the protests was that $1 billion had been syphoned out of three Moldovan banks, seemingly with the connivance of high-level officials.

An apparent paradox of the protests was that people flew European Union flags while demanding the resignation of a pro-European government. But a broad coalition of forces supported the protests, including both the pro-Russian Dodon and the pro-European Sandu.

Throughout its post-independence history, Moldova has fractured on East-West lines, so this union of different forces was unprecedented. Opposition politicians of different allegiances put away their party flags and selected white chrysanthemums as the neutral symbol of the protests.

They were united by an anti-corruption agenda and by a common enemy—the oligarch, Deputy Chairman of the ruling Democratic party Vladimir Plahotniuc. Despite not holding the highest office, Plahotniuc was well known to control the government, the parliament, and the largest media conglomerate in the country.

Moldova’s Constitutional Court had frequently made rulings in Plahotniuc’s favor, and on March 4 this court put an end to the short-lived protest movement. One Friday evening, it decided to repeal the amendment to the Moldovan constitution, enacted in 2000, under which the head of state, the president, has limited powers and is elected by parliament. As the current president, Nicolae Timofti, was set to leave office in March, the court effectively fired the starting gun for the next presidential election.

[June 20 interoperability of Moldovan forces proceeds ]

Moldovan forces receive American training

According to LTC Tudor Martea, Commander of Special Forces Battalion “Fulger”, the exercises included 4 modules of training: advanced firing techniques, close quarters combat, artillery fire call, and a field training exercise.

U.S.role

Several media outlets surround the Minister of Defense of Moldova, Aratal Salaru, to ask him some questions regarding America’s presence in Moldoava during a static display in Chisinau, Moldova, May 5, 2016.

LTC Martea mentioned that within the exercise, over 80 service members were trained by their American colleagues to carry out different missions. Also, they carried out shooting drills with heavy and light infantry weapons of National and US Armies.
June 7, 2016 WARSAW, Poland — Poland has kicked off its joint multinational exercise with heavy US Army participation in order to test readiness and interoperability using 31,000 soldiers from 24 countries, 100 aircraft, 12 vessels and 3,000 vehicles.

[October 8 2015 nuclear smuggling

Oleg Balan, Moldovan Minister of Interior

Oleg Balan, Moldovan Minister of Interior

The United States and Moldova have been working together for years to counter nuclear smuggling, said Eric Lund, spokesman for the Department of State’s Bureau of International Security and Nonproliferation.

• In July 2010, police seized 1.8 kilograms of Uranium 238, known as yellowcake, in a garage in Moldova’s capital, Chisinau. The uranium was worth €9 million ($10.1 million at today’s rates), but the suspects had tried to sell the uranium for €5 million ($5.6 million). Seven people were arrested, including two officers of the former Soviet army.

At the time, Moldova said it wasn’t sure where the uranium came from.

• In 2011, seven people were caught trying to sell 1 kilogram of Uranium 235 that had come from Moldova’s separatist Transnistria region. The suspects had sold a sample to undercover investigators. One of the suspects escaped, though others were arrested. A year later, an appellate court in Chisinau freed three and sentenced the rest to three to five years in jail.

When uranium is mined, it is 99.3% Uranium 238 and 0.7% Uranium 235, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission says.

Nuclear reactors must have a higher concentration of Uranium 235 than naturally exists in the mined material, so the U 235 isotope is enriched to about 5%, the commission says.

• In February 2015, authorities arrested two Moldovans in the capital on suspicion of trying to sell a half kilogram of radioactive Caesium 135. The arrest came after the suspects sold a sample of 83 grams for €100,000 ($112,440).

Moldovan authorities cooperated with the FBI in all three investigations, Balan said.

[August 10 Moldova: bank failures prompt IMF visit]

An IMF mission was now expected to visit from September 21 to look at prospects for a new support program after bamk failures.
Fraudsters in Moldova in November 2014 pulled off a $1 billion bank theft, led in turn to the bankruptcy of the country’s three major banks, a currency crisis, and a sharp economic slump. The mechanisms used for shifting the funds from BEM and Banca de Sociala – in particular the tell-tale use of Scottish shell companies established at the same addresses – repeat the mechanisms used in previous corporate raids and major money-laundering schemes in Moldova. This suggests that at least the engineers of the scheme were high-placed Moldovan insiders. But why would high-placed insiders implement such a scheme for the benefit of an outsider such as 28-year-old businessman Ilan Shor ? Or is Shor rather a proxy or fall guy for them?
The Scottish shell companies involved, Manitoba Management Limited, was registered at the 41 Duke Street address; another two companies, Dixon Corporation and Ayden Management Limited, were registered at 69 Brunswick Street and 71 Brunswick Street, respectively. Fortuna Limited and Novland Limited, were registered at the 18/2 Royston Mains Street address.

[May 21 Moldova at Riga EU meeting tempted by Russia]

While the European market is much bigger and richer than Russia’s, Mr. Putin imposed tight trade restrictions in 2013 on Moldova in retaliation for its flirtation with the West. For now, exports to Europe have not yet risen enough to make up for what was lost in Russia

Apr 21, 2015 “Wind Spring 15” – NATO military exercise in Romania, near the Moldovan and Ukrainian border
“Wind Spring 15” – Over 2.000 military and 500 army vehicles, of which 400 tanks and armored vehicles, involved in a NATO military exercise in Romania, at the Smardan firining range in Galati county, near the Moldovan and Ukrainian border.

[March 21 Russia warns against U.S. military maneuver, convoy of 120 U.S. Army Strykers departs Estonia]

Comanche Troop, 3rd Squadron, 2nd Cavalry Regiment provide security in Stryker armored vehicles) in Hohenfels, Germany,

Comanche Troop, 3rd Squadron, 2nd Cavalry Regiment provide security in Stryker armored vehicles in Hohenfels, Germany,

A “Dragoon Ride” will take 3rd Squadron, 2nd Cavalry Regiment, troops from training locations in Estonia, Lithuania and Poland and convoy them through Latvia and the Czech Republic to Vilseck.The US Army squadron wrapping several months of training with allies in Poland will take its Strykers through the Baltics March 21 through April 1, stopping in a new community each night. The vehicles are part of an armored brigade’s worth of equipment the Army plans to station in Europe. The U.S. military maneuver, set to begin March 21, will involve a convoy of 120 U.S. Army Strykers. Over ten days, the eight-wheel-drive combat vehicles will stop in a different border area community each night to showcase the ability of U.S. forces to transport troops quickly, and to assure Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland of NATO’s commitment.

Such an exercise, Russia’s foreign ministry said March 20, undermines the Russia-NATO Founding Act. “According to our estimates, in case of the deployment of U.S. armour on the permanent basis on NATO’s eastern flank in the mentioned amounts there will emerge solid reasons for calling in question the alliance’s compliance with these liabilities.”

March 6 Riga summit, on 21-22 May 2015: “deliverables”]

The Eastern Partnership (EaP) is the EU initiative covering relations with Ukraine, Moldova, Belarus, Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan. It is the wish of the hosts that all countries be represented at the level of heads of state and government, this was a decision to be taken by consensus among the 28 member countries. The previous such summit, held in Vilnius in November 2013. Member states had no consensus on offering membership perspective to the Union to any of the countries covered. Some EU countries wanted “deliverables” a jargon term for the possibility of granting a visa-free regime to Ukraine and Georgia. In EU jargon, this is called “visa liberalisation”, while “visa facilitation” is offered to countries less advanced in the process of lifting the visa barrier with the EU.

[February 25 2015 U.S. Army Second Cavalry Regiment in military parade to mark Estonia’s Independence Day.]

The soldiers from the U.S. Army’s Second Cavalry Regiment were taking part in a military parade to mark Estonia’s Indepen- dence Day.

[February 24 Moldova:pro-Western businessman the country’s next Prime Minister.]

Moldovan lawmakers voted February 20 to appoint pro-Western businessman  Chiril Gaburici as the country’s next Prime Minister.

Moldovan lawmakers voted February 20 to appoint pro-Western businessman Chiril Gaburici as the country’s next Prime Minister.

[February 17 Moldova: a slumping domestic economy]
The leu has lost 25 percent against the dollar since the start of 2015, pressured by a rapidly slowing domestic economy, a currency crisis in Russia and conflict in Ukraine. Former Soviet countries are feeling the pain as Russia, for many the main trading partner, suffers from Western sanctions over Ukraine and a weak oil market, which sent the rouble down about 40 percent against the dollar last year. Moldova’s economy, which grew 9.2 percent in 2013, is expected to have contracted by up to 2 percent last year. “The national exchange rate mirrors the economic situation, which was hit by three shocks,”citing a Russian embargo on Moldovan wine and certain food products, a decline in exports, and a fall in remittances from migrant workers, 400,000 of whom work in Russia.

[January 27 Moldova: Two pro-European parties plus Communists may form government]
Two pro-European parties have agreed to form a minority government in Moldova but will need support from the Communist Party to pass legislation. They have 42 seats in the 101-seat legislation. The Communists, with 20 seats, say they will support the government depending on who is proposed as prime minister.

[January 1 Putin Christmas wish, U.S. Marines in Balti]

U.S. Marines train with Moldovan Force

U.S. Marines train with Moldovan Force

December 31 2014: In a New Year’s address Russian President Vladimir Putin wished Moldovan President Nicolae Timofti a Merry Christmas and “expressed hope” that the two countries would work together “in order to strengthen regional stability and security.” Some experts fear that the eastern pro-Russian Moldovan territory of Transnistria, which borders Ukraine, will be the next area in Eastern Europe to take up a violent separatist campaign with the help of Russia.

January 1, 2015: U.S., Marines headed into the small, former Soviet republic to talk anti-armor best practices with local troops. A mix of about 15 assaultmen and anti-tank missilemen with the Romania-based Black Sea Rotational Force arrived in Balti, Moldova for the weeklong joint training exercise.
The detachment of Marines led a mix of conscripts and career soldiers with varying specialties — most were artillerymen — in discussions about doctrine, tactics, techniques and procedures. The event, which included a live-fire exercise, saw the troops use the FGM-148 Javelin, AT4 Anti-Tank Weapon and shoulder-launched multipurpose assault weapons, as well as Moldova’s rocket propelled grenade system and 70mm recoilless rifle.
First Lt. Ben Skarzynski, executive officer for the rotational force’s weapons company who oversaw the exercise, would only go so far as to describe it as giving the Moldovans the “capability to provide for themselves.”

;December 20 Putin forgets Moldova]

Russia is estimated to have approximately 1,500 soldiers in Transnistria who are there to guard old Soviet weapon stockpiles. Russia also claims to enforce peacekeeping purposes following the 1992 conflict between the region and Moldova.

Russia is estimated to have approximately 1,500 soldiers in Transnistria who are there to guard old Soviet weapon stockpiles. Russia also claims to enforce peacekeeping purposes following the 1992 conflict between the region and Moldova.

“We have basically only two bases abroad, and those are in terroristically dangerous directions: in Kyrgyzstan after militants from Afghanistan entered that country, at the request of the Kyrgyz authorities, and in Tajikistan — also on the border with Afghanistan.”
in Transnistria, Russia keeps about 1,500 troops in the Moldovan breakaway republic, based in the de facto capitol Tiraspol as well as in the Bender Fortress. On August 4, Moscow accused Moldova and Ukraine of trying to block Russia’s access to its troops in Transdniester.

Moldova is one of the poorest countries in Europe, and it relies heavily on remittances from the several hundred thousand Moldovan citizens working in Russia. Most Moldovans convert the rubles they earn into dollars or euros before
[December 17 MEPS compensate Moldova’s producers for their Russian losses]

Moldova will be able to export up to 40,000 tonnes of fresh apples, 10,000 tonnes of fresh table grapes and 10,000 tonnes of fresh plums to the EU duty free, thanks to a proposal backed by MEPs on Wednesday. This should compensate Moldova’s producers for their losses due to Russia’s politically-motivated ban on imports of Moldovan produce.

Moldova will be able to import duty-free

40,000 tons of fresh apples (= 0.4% of EU output)

10,000 tons fresh table grapes (= 0.6% of EU output)

10, 000 tonnes fresh plums (= 0.7% of EU output)

Most of these imports are likely to go to Romania.

MEPs approved the concession by 551 votes to 67, with 23 abstentions.

[December 2 pro-EU parties had around 44% while the opposition had around 40% in parliamentary elections]

Wedged between Ukraine and EU member Romania, Moldova has a breakaway region, Transnistria, which appealed to Russian President Vladimir Putin for recognition in April. The government joined Ukraine and Georgia in signing association agreements with the EU in June.

Wedged between Ukraine and EU member Romania, Moldova has a breakaway region, Transnistria, which appealed to Russian President Vladimir Putin for recognition in April. The government joined Ukraine and Georgia in signing association agreements with the EU in June.

The United States congratulates the people of Moldova on the November 30 parliamentary elections, another milestone in their nation’s democratic development. The OSCE’s Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) found that the technical conduct of the elections yesterday was in line with international standards and norms. We share ODIHR’s concern with the decision of Moldova’s Central Election Commission to remove one party from the ballot only a few days before the elections.

[earlier]With nearly 80% of votes counted, the three pro-EU parties had around 44% while the opposition had around 40%.

The subsequent inevitable tough bargaining will be watched closely by Russia.

[November 30 Moldova’s central election committee declares elections valid]
With about 30% of the vote counted, the pro-Russian Socialist Party was in the lead with about 23%, election officials said. The main opposition party – the Communist Party – was running a close second with 20%.

The Liberal Democrats, who want Moldova to achieve EU candidate status by 2017 and full membership by 2020. They were polling about 18%.

Its coalition partner, the Democratic Party, was polling about 16%.

The most strongly pro-EU and pro-Nato party, the Liberals, was on about 7%.

Tough post-election bargaining is predicted.

About 2.7 million people are eligible to cast their ballots, electing a single-chamber 101-seat parliament by a system of proportional representation. The turnout was just under 56%.

[Earlier]Moldovans are voting in parliamentary elections November 30. German Chancellor Angela Merkel told Russian President Vladimir Putin in a telephone conversation not to attempt to destabilize Moldova, on March 23.
On March 23, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization’s top military commander warned that Russia had a “very sizable” force on Ukraine’s eastern border that could easily pass through Ukraine to seize Moldova’s breakaway region of Transnistria.
The Russian annexation of Crimea is threatening to reignite a conflict in an often forgotten corner of Europe: the self-styled breakaway republic of Transnistria.
Transnistria, a thin strip of land sandwiched between Ukraine and the former Soviet republic of Moldova, has close ties with Moscow. Last week lawmakers in the region formally asked the Duma, Russia’s parliament, if it could
Ms. Merkel nonetheless reiterated Germany’s position that it won’t recognize the annexation of Crimea, Mr. Seibert said.
Moldova’s central election committee declared the elections valid with turnout at 39.2 percent of voters as of 3:30 p.m. local time, Interfax reported, citing the body’s chairman, Yury Chokan.

[February 28 MAKO Group’s Oleksandr Yanukovych and deposed president, Viktor Yanukovych have Swiss assets seized, also Austria and Liechtenstein]

In early 2014 Oleksandr Yanukovych personal assets were claimed to be over $500 million

In early 2014 Oleksandr Yanukovych personal assets were claimed to be over $500 million

Geneva’s chief prosecutor’s office searched the premises of a company owned by Oleksander Yanukovych. The Swiss authorities have frozen all assets of Ukraine’s deposed president, Viktor Yanukovych, and launched a money laundering investigation into him and his son.
The foreign ministry said all assets and bank accounts held by Yanukovych and 19 other people of his entourage in Switzerland were blocked

Austria and the principality of Liechtenstein announced a similar asset freeze.

Yanukovych’s MAKO Group of companies (majority shareholder is Oleksandr Yanukovych) was assessed by (auditor) PricewaterhouseCoopers as having $212 million in assets in 2011, grossing $663,000 from sales.[10] (In March 2012 Yanukovych’s net worth was estimated to be at least $130 million by Kyiv Post.[2]) In 2011 time MAKO consisted of 16 enterprises located in Ukraine, Switzerland and the Netherlands and it employed some 700 people in 2011.MAKO Group is primarily involved in property development and construction, banking, and the export of high-grade coal. MAKO started to grow heavily since 2010. Before 2013 the company had denied it has bid for government public procurement contracts, taking part in government privatizations of state assets, or being involved in the extraction of natural resources. In November 2012 Forbes Ukraine reported that companies linked to (Oleksandr) Yanukovych in 2012 at no cost had taken over majority stakes worth an estimated $10 million in five coal enrichment plants from the state.[ This had been denied by Yanukovych; he claimed it was Black PR aimed against his father. As of February 2013 Forbes Ukraine claims (Oleksandr) Yanukovych earned most in Ukrainian Public Procurement contracts then any other businessmen since the beginning of 2012.[12] Forbes.ua reported in February 2014 that in January 2014, for example, his businesses won 50% of all state tenders.
In early 2014 his personal assesses were claimed to be over $500 million