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WikiLeaks: Panama Papers Probe is 'Media Attack Targeting Russia, Putin'

© Sputnik / Alexei Druzhinin / Go to the photo bankDirect Line with Vladimir Putin
Direct Line with Vladimir Putin - Sputnik International
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WikiLeaks said that the so-called Panama Papers leak that allegedly exposed offshore financial schemes was sponsored by the US. According to WikiLeaks, the leak is an information attack against Russia and more so, personally President Vladimir Putin.

The scandal over the leaked papers from the Panamanian legal firm Mossack Fonseca was orchestrated by the US Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP), WikiLeaks wrote in its Twitter.

WikiLeaks also said that the so-called Panama Papers leak was funded by the US Agency for International Development (USAID) alongside George Soros’ Open Society Foundation.

"#PanamaPapers Putin attacks was produced by OCCRP which targets Russia and former USSR and was funded by USAID and Soros," WikiLeaks wrote.

​Furthermore, WikiLeaks said that the leak was directly funded by Washington. This fact would undermine the integrity of the US government.

"The US OCCRP can do good work but for the US gov’t to directly find the #PanamaPapers attack on Putin seriously undermines its integrity," WikiLeaks noted.

A logo of German publisher Sueddeutsche Verlag of German daily Sueddeutsche Zeitung is pictured in front of the main building in Munich, southern Germany, on April 5, 2016 - Sputnik International
Sueddeutsche Zeitung Refuses to Hand Over ‘Panama Leaks’ to Authorities
​According to the official website, OCCRP is the registered name of the Journalism Development Network, a Maryland-based charitable organization. The project encompasses a number of centers and organizations in Eastern Europe and post-Soviet countries. The project has been supported by grants from the UN Democracy Fund (UNDEF), the USAID and the Open Society Foundations.

In turn, Ramon Fonseca, founding partner of Mossack Fonseca, accused those behind the leak of manipulation of facts. According to him, the authors of investigation misinterpreted the documents dumped as a result of a hacker attack.

"They [e-mails and documents] were taken out of context," he was quoted as saying by RT.

He underscored that the company never destroyed any financial papers and never assisted in tax dodging or money laundering.

A data leak by a Panama firm selling offshore companies has exposed alleged illegal financial activities of some of the world’s most powerful people in tax havens. - Sputnik International
US Far Bigger Haven for Money Laundering Than Panama - UN Adviser
According to Bloomberg, Washington plans to use information from the leaked documents to expand its anti-Russian sanctions.

Washington will search millions of leaked documents for information about people who may have helped companies or individuals evade anti-Russian sanctions imposed over the crisis in Ukraine, a source familiar with the matter told Bloomberg.

Those people could be added to the US sanctions list. According to Bloomberg, a new list could be released as early as June, which could coincide with the expected timing of the next vote by EU countries on the extension of their sanctions against Russia.

"The US government intently focuses on investigating possible illicit activity, including violations of US tax laws or sanctions, using all sources of information, both public and non-public," the US Treasury Department commented to Bloomberg via e-mail.

On April 3, Germany’s Sueddeutsche Zeitung daily published materials it claimed came from the Panamanian legal firm Mossack Fonseca. The 11.5 million leaked files were claimed to expose the alleged involvement of former and current world leaders, among others, in establishing offshore companies through the law firm.

A general view of a high income neighborhood of Panama City, April 6, 2016 - Sputnik International
USAID, Soros Funding Explains Lack of US Banks, Citizens in Panama Leaks
The German publication specifically notes Chinese President Xi Jinping, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, Azeri President Ilham Aliev, Moroccan King Mohammed VI, Saudi King Alman ibn Abdul-Aziz al Saud, the late father of British Prime Minister David Cameron and a number of individuals allegedly close to Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Mossack Fonseca has refused to validate the information contained in the leaks and accused reporters of gaining unauthorized access to its proprietary documents. The company warned that using unlawfully-obtained data was a crime that it would not hesitate to seek punishment by legal means.

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