OCCRP would like to register its concern regarding a newspaper article that appeared this month on the website of a media organization called Novaya Pravda. This article purports to be about OCCRP Executive Director Paul Radu. However, the article is completely fabricated and bears no resemblance either to Radu or OCCRP.
The article makes a number of fanciful claims, including one that Radu hacked Iranian nuclear plants. The publication, which appears to be new, did not contact Radu, OCCRP or any of its numerous reporters, members or peer organizations for comment. OCCRP concludes that it was planted by persons seeking harm to Radu and OCCRP.
“It is common for many publications to accept cash payments to run stories. It is also common for organized crime and corrupt political parties of their functionaries to start media publications. This publication is clearly neither serious nor credible,” said Drew Sullivan, Editor of OCCRP.
OCCRP, which reports on organized crime and corruption, has in the past frequently undergone media attacks from unscrupulous publications.
OCCRP is an internationally recognized news organization that regularly works with the BBC, The Guardian, Time Magazine, Al Jazeera and dozens of other international media. It has been recognized by its peers with numerous international prizes including the Daniel Pearl award and the Global Shining Light. Paul Radu, in addition, is highly respected as a journalist and trainer, and has been awarded, among many prizes, the Knight International Award and the IRE award for investigative reporting.
“In the world we work in, populated with organized crime figures and malevolent autocracies, this is clearly designed to make Paul’s life more difficult and dangerous. But most readers are smart and will stay away from deliberate misinformation and the bad publications that peddle it,” said Sullivan.