The scandal around Kiev’s illegal arm sales to Iraq is increasing in Ukraine. The German Newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung wrote: “America is probably preparing some troubles for President Kuchma. (…)" The question is about the supposed sale of three “Hauberk” radio-locating stations to Iraq, in defiance of the UN Security Council’s decision to forbid arm supplies to this country. These systems are said to discover US Stealth aircraft. In Iraq’s hands, the systems are very dangerous for US and NATO’s aircraft, which control the airspace over Iraqi territory. This circumstance probably was the reason why, last August, a US drone was annihilated in over southern Iraq.
It was discovered that the Washington Center for Public Integrity hstarted to investigate the sale of the stations. The center recently published information about Russian citizen Viktor But’s participation in the international arm sales. In 1999, the center disclosed the “Russian track” in great money laundering through the biggest US bank, City Bank. The center’s materials were also use to preparing hearings in the US Congress, which were broadly covered by the mass media of the US and of other countries of the world. The Center includes the International Journalist Consortium, which unites investigation specialists of 40 countries.
The materials for this case were given to 80 editions of different countries and to US governmental structures. They will be also officially be handed over to the UN Special Commission on Iraq. The center possesses a tape with a conversation of Leonid Kuchma and Valery Malev, then-director of Ukrspetsexport state company, which dealt with arm exports at that time. The question is about recording made by a major of the President’s guard, Nikolai Melnichenko, in the office of Leonid Kuchma. The recording was heard by members of the San Francisco Great Jury, while the ex-guard of Leonid Kuchma commented on the conversation. Here is the record:
Malev: There is a question of a special operation. They addressed to us: Iraq through our mediator in Jordan about buying four “Hauberks,” and they offer at once 100 million dollars. Kuchma: What is it, a “Hauberk”?
Malev: This is the station of passive discovery of air targets.
Kuchma: Who produces it?
Malev: Topas. It costs… Four pieces – that is complex. The complex costs 100 million.
Kuchma: Can we sell it without the Jordanian?
Malev: So, Leonid Danilovich (Kuchma), I propose Leonid Vasilyevich to carry out a special operation. To look at the structure of export to Iraq from our territory. There are KRAZ lorries there… in boxes. We should see how to mark these boxes. Everything must be transported from here in boxes. And we will sent people with false documents there to carry out mounting and setting up.
Kuchma: The Jordanian should not blab. Or they will check up on us.
Malev: Who will check up on us? We do not sell new arms there. I mean to Jordan. No, we do not. So, let us look at it carefully.
Malev: Good. Thank you.
Audio expert Bruce Koenig from Virginia BEK TEK firm confirmed to the Grand Jury that the records are authentic. According to him, the tapes were not cut. “Basing on the speech on the presented piece of the record, none of the phrases was made up of different sounds, words or phrases,” – Koenig writes in his report.
Let us specify some details. “Leonid Vasilyevich” that was Leonid Derkach, then-chairman of Ukrainian Security Service. “Topas” that is Donetsk company producing the most perfect in the world track systems, called “Hauberk.” For the first time, Ukraine showed this system in IDEF-99 arm exhibition and received numerous preliminary orders. The real uniqueness of “Hauberk” is that it can discover Stells aircraft, while remaining itself not discovered. April 17, 2000 in Amman (Jordan), SOFEX-2000 was opened. Among numerous participants, there was also Ukrainian delegation of Ukrspetsexport arm selling company, with its president, Valery Malev at the head. The Ukrainians also presented T-80UD tanks, a modernized model of T-72 tank, BTR-93 armoured troop-carrier, 1L220 radar, also known as Zoo, and Hauberk radar of passive pointing. The latter attracted most of buyers and viewers. That was a perfected variant in comparison with that one of 1999. According to Malev’s demand, several hundreds dollars were spent for it. Now the system could track targets at a distance of up to 600 km and air targets at a distance of 800 km. This is a “passive” defence system, because the pilot cannot fix that he is discovered by the radar.
Jordan is known to Western special services as the country where numerous Iraqi companies act. Their mission was to buy arm for Saddam Hussein’s regime. Iraqi special services established save ways of transporting arm from Jordan to Iraq, avoiding international controllers who looked after keeping embargo on arm supplies to Iraq. In the conversation recorded by Melnichenko, which took place July 10, 2000, the Ukrspetsexport president says to Kuchma that Iraqis had established contact with Ukrainians through a Jordan mediator. Sale of Hauberk systems to Iraq is an obvious violation of UN sanctions against Iraq. The 661st resolution of UN Security Council calls illegal any supply of “arm or any other military equipment” to Iraq.
“We know very well this system, - Jim Broocks, spokesman for US Dense Secretariat. – Iraq possess this system.”
According to Nikolai Melnichenko, CIA official said at the Great Jury’s sitting, that such radar had been recently found by Americans in Iraq. Therefore, already in the nearest future, strict economical measures will be taken against Ukraine, because of its violation of UN Security Council’s resolution. US ambassador to Ukraine also said about inevitability of these measures, while he did not said if the US possessed confirmation of the fact of sales. According to Carlos Pasqual, Americans need some time to study accusations against Kuchma of his implication in the illegal arm sales. At the same time, the ambassador stressed that the US was serious as for suspects of the UN sanctions.
And now, the most mysterious thing in this story. People’s deputy Alexandr Zhir said to the Washington Center that March 3 Leonid Kuchma had been informed about the Parliament Investigation Commission possessing proofs of his implication in the arm sales. Three days later, Valery Malev died in a car accident. According to Alexandr Zhir, Valery Malev’s death was not accidental, as if he was ordered to come somewhere and was killed. Therefore, Alexandr Zhir supposes, Malev’s death should be investigated in the framework of the arm sale case. “Kuchma and his people are afraid of the investigation, so they kill every key witness,” – Zhir concludes. Valery Malev’s mysterious death was recently covered by the US newspaper New York Times. According to the newspaper, a series of car accidents in Ukraine seems to be the work of the “governmental death squadron, whose main task is to make people keep silent, who could ruin political balance.”
Alexandr Gorobets PRAVDA.Ru Kiev Ukraine
Translated by Vera Solovieva
Read the original in Russian: http://pravda.ru/main/2002/04/16/39838.html