The Kremlin on Friday reportedly apologised to United States investment bank Goldman Sachs and German newspaper Suddeutsche Zeitung after Russian President Vladimir Putin linked the two during his annual question-and-answer phone-in marathon on Thursday.
Putin had wrongly said that Goldman Sachs owned the German newspaper, the publication behind the Panama Papers leak, Reuters quoted Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov as saying. Peskov took the responsibility for Putin's statement.
"It is more the error of those who prepared the briefing documents, my error. There was information there that had not been checked and rechecked again and we gave it to the president. We have apologised," Peskov said.
"We know that members of the American intelligence community are involved. The German newspaper Sueddeutsche Zeitung is owned by a holding company, and that holding is owned by the American financial company Goldman Sachs," During the phone-in session, Putin had said during the phone-in session.
Suddeutsche Zeitung "does not belong to Goldman Sachs, either directly or indirectly," TASS Russian News Agency quoted newspaper's director Stefan Hilscher as saying, adding that it is 100 percent a subsidiary company of Sueddeutscher Verlag publishing house, owned by Suedwestdeutsche Medien Holding (81.25 per cent) and individuals (18.75 per cent).
The leaked documents from Panamian law firm Mossack Fonseca, which were published by International Consortium of Investigative Journalists on April 3, reportedly named some of Putin's close associates who have made money through offshore deals and loans worth $2 billion. His family reportedly gained from Putin's friends' money, the documents suggested.