Documents from Malta’s business registry reveal Bono’s hidden stake in Utena’s Ausra (Dawn) shopping centre in Lithuania (top). property developer Paddy McKillen
The 3,700-square-metre mall, which opened in 2006, was built by Eika, one of Lithuania’s leading developers. In April 2007, the developer announced it had sold the mall to an unnamed “foreign investor”.
The buyer was UAB Nude Estates 2, a Lithuanian company. Records show the company was ultimately part-owned by Bono, via a series of confusingly named offshore companies.
Between 2007 and 2012, UAB Nude Estates 2 was owned by a similarly named Maltese offshore company, Nude Estates Malta Ltd. Leaked registry documents show Bono is listed as one of three owners of Nude Estates Malta, along with a man named Robin Andrew Barnes and Patrick Gerard McKillen.
Mr McKillen is an Irish businessman who also co-owns a luxury Dublin hotel [The Clarence] with Bono and U2 guitarist David Howell Evans, also known as The Edge.
In 2012, ownership of the Lithuanian company was transferred to another offshore company, this time in the British Crown Dependency of Guernsey, called Nude Estates I Ltd.
It is unclear how large Bono’s investment in the Utena mall is, or how much it has earned him. In its 2007 financial records, the Lithuanian company, Nude Estates 2, stated its fixed assets were valued at 19.6 million Lithuanian litas, then worth about $10 million.
from left, Bill Shipsey of Amnesty Internatonal and U2’s Bono look on in Dublin Airport; Aung San Suu Kyi with then Tanaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs Eamon Gilmore (right), as Irish/Burmese Sophia Kelly presents flowers
Further to reports that more than 420,000 Rohingya Muslims have fled violent attacks by Buddhists in Myanmar.
UKIP launched their manifesto for the UK General Election yesterday. A friend of mine has the misfortune of having to read it for his nub and has been sending me the “best” parts. It’s as mad as you’d hope. As well as saying burquas should be banned because they deprive the wearer of vitamin D they are also looking to Bono for policy advice…
On Friday morning I sent Bono an email with a link to Susan;s video , which was filmed by Rowan Stokes in the Hot Press offices to mark the 30th anniversary of ‘The Joshua Tree’.I included Susan O Neill’s contact details, but didn’t bother mentioning to her that I’d sent it.
U2 are currently in New York, recording and rehearsing for their forthcoming album and tour, and I figured he’d probably be far too busy to be checking his inbox….
…Yesterday afternoon, he sent a really lovely message to “black eyed Susan”, telling her that her version of his song “took me aback in its simplicity and power… stark and still until it wasn’t.”
He went on to say that it was “great unfucked up work on a fucked up song,” before signing off with, “Your fan, Bono.”
U2 were rehearsing in Paris when that city was beset last November, and now, according to The Mirror, the U2singer,who owns a house in the nearby town of Eze, was eating at a restaurant with friends, including the former mayor of Nice, when blocks away an armed terrorist drove a truck into a crowd, killing 84 people.
According to the New York Daily News Bono was eating on the terrace of La Petite Maison restaurant with chef Alain Ducasse and others when the 18-ton refrigeration truck sent the crowd streaming toward the restaurant.
Bono was ushered into the dining room and left the eatery “with his hands on his head” a half-hour later, after police had given the all-clear.
From top: A still from mobile phone footage obtained by The Times of a Syrian man carrying his son, who was shot in both legs, by Turkish border police; Bono with Turkey’s Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu
You may recall reports in The Times yesterday detailing how eight Syrians were shot at the Syrian-Turkey border by Turkish border police, as they attempted to reach Turkey on Sunday.
The newspaper reported:
Abdmunem Kashkash, a lawyer from Aleppo who was with the group but managed to cross into Turkey unharmed, said that they had been waiting in the border area for several days while trying to cross and had come under fire from the Turks every day.
“They are killing unarmed people,” Mr Kashkash said. “There was one little girl who was shot and we could not do more for her for four hours, until nightfall. An old man and woman are missing — they have probably been killed too.”
The wounded have been taken to a hospital in Azaz, a rebel-held Syrian town next to the Turkish border that is sheltering 100,000 displaced people who have fled the regime and Isis advances since February. Isis is closing in on the town from the east, but despite calls from aid agencies the Turkish government is refusing to open the border gate.
Readers may also recall how earlier this month – before the deportations from Greece to Turkey began on April 4 – Bono and a delegation of US senators and congressmen visited a Syrian refugee camp in Gaziantep province, in southeast Turkey.
After the visit, Bono paid to tribute to Turkey for hosting 2.7million Syrian refugees, telling Turkey’s Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu:
“I am very humbled by the generosity of the Turkish people. It is extraordinary. It is a lesson in grace.”
Bono’s comments came just a week after Amnesty International reported that, hours after the EU-Turkey deal on Friday, March 18, Turkey forcibly returned around 30 Afghan asylum seekers to Afghanistan – without giving them the opportunity to seek asylum.
Further to this…
Harry Browne writes:
Bono’s concern for the plight of refugees, while undoubtedly genuine, would be more credible if he weren’t simultaneously offering cover to European leaders who deny asylum-seekers their basic legal rights.
Recently Turkey was rightly criticized for taking payments to accept refugees who should have been in the hands of the EU asylum system.
The same week, Bono was photographed with Turkish prime minister Ahmet Davutoglu, and called the Turkish role “a lesson in grace,” even while Amnesty International was accusing Turkey of forcing other refugees back into Syria.
It’s getting to be a habit with Bono, who warmly embraced George W. Bush and Tony Blair while they waged an illegal, immoral war on Iraq.
Bono has quite a voice: what a shame he so often uses it to sing the praises of powerful, disingenuous leaders.