Written by Khaled Iskef exclusively for SouthFront
Ever since the body of James Le Mesurie, co-founder of Syria’s White Helmets “rescue organization” was found in Turkey, there’s been a lot of controversy surrounding the incident.
Initially, Russia was blamed for the killing, then it was ruled a suicide, and various facts about his transgressions came to light.
Stories and stories abounded about the death of James Le Mesurier in Turkey in November of 2019. Every now and then an article appears here and some information pops up there, contradicting each other in the details of his mysterious death. The Turkish security authorities have largely concealed the circumstances, which calls into question the truth of whether James died by suicide, as is the official version, or was he killed? Who stands behind his death and who stands to benefit from it?
This article is a collection of many written articles that will presented and win the hope to reach an important conclusion about the answers to the questions posed above. This will give an important character to the role of the intelligence services in supporting and ending the role of anyone threatening the interests of these same services. This stands especially in relation to any attempt at exposing their suspicious role that was practiced in Syria during the years of war.
Who is James Le Mesurier?
He was the co-founder of the White Helmets and was the Director of Mayday Rescue.
A lot has been said about the White Helmets “rescue organization”, but there’s been little talk about his other operation.
Mayday Rescue was established in 2014 in Turkey, a year after the founding of the White Helmets organization. Both Russia and Syria accuse the White Helmets of being biased against the Damascus government and Moscow. This comes in addition to providing misleading information received to the United Nations, especially regarding documents and testimony on the use of chemical weapons.
There is also ample evidence that the organization is active in areas controlled by al-Qaeda in the north of Syria, especially in Idlib and previously in Aleppo and its surrounding areas, while it was under the control of the Al-Nusra Front.
James was a former commander in the British army in the nineties, and he was the one who trained and founded the White Helmets organization in Turkey and then led them into Aleppo in 2013. He played a major role in Mayday in funnelling American and British money to the White Helmets.
What is the latest narrative about the death of James James Le Mesurier?
He committed suicide, according to a report by the Guardian published on November 27, 2020. It is strange that the topic is narrated in a way that the writer tries to conceal the truth of his death despite the fact that a lot of information has been presented, including falsified and forged information. The report largely disregards what was published by Turkish media and websites. This information will be listed this here in full so that it can be analyzed and one can gain some insight into the circumstances around Le Mesurier’s death.
James Le Mesurier died according to the following circumstances:
According to psychiatrists, a person committing suicide is a result of the deterioration of the psychological situation and the great pressures and the lack of anything to live for, but James. This is untrue, according to what his wife said, when they met almost a year before he died. He allegedly said that he had found his soul reconciled after his previous two failed experiences in marriage. As such, it is questionable that he commited suicide after one happy year of marriage. Martin Chulov said in his article in the Guardian that they fell in love with each other at first sight.
It is also questionable how he commited suicide by taking sedative medication, keeping in mind that on the night of his dead he took sleeping pills at 4 am and the date and time of death were set at 4.30 pm according to the coroner’s report. His wife, Emma, woke up at 5.30 under the influence of sleeping pills, according to Procar Press, the news agency that announced its closure on July 6, 2020 for logistical reasons.
According to the coroner’s report, the site of the discovery of the body was 5 meters away from the place of Le Mesurier’s presumed fall.
In addition, it was found that James’s body suffered fractures of the feet and head, and nowhere else, which is contrary to the logic of forensic science. According to simple logic, and forensic science, in the event of a free fall, the body either falls on its feet or its head and it is close to impossible to receive fractures in two opposite sides of one body at the same time. It is difficult to believe that he fell both on his head and feet at the same time.
Also, the height of the balcony is quite low, it is dubious if whether a person falling from that height would even suffer serious enough injuries to die.
It is worth noting, that according to the Turkish TRT channel, that Le Mesurier and his wife moved home one day before his death, as he used the house as an office, and his wife explained that the reasons for the move were because of the proximity of the house to the medical center in which James is receiving treatment.
In the days leading up to his death, James Le Mesurier was “unwell” and “tense”, said the old housekeeper, Jules Vizulaeva, who called James to receive treatment in a medical center near the scene of the accident.
According to a plethora of reports, the presence of the dha channel, in addition to pictures of its correspondents and their equipment, is witnessed at the site of the incident
This was the first channel that covered the police operations on the day of his death, but when the channel’s archive is sifted through, it appears that all information regarding James Le Mesurier has gone, there is not a single report on the matter.
Some media reports claimed that his death was a planned killing by representatives of a specific country, without mentioning the name of that said country. This was denied by the Turkish police through their statements that the house of Le Mesurier can only be accessed by means of fingerprint identification.
In addition, according to a Daily Mail report Le Mesurier and his wife were the only ones in their home at that time, as it was proven that no one had entered or left his home at the time of his death as it was seen on the surveillance cameras.
The Turkish Demurin News Agency reported that the police discovered that Le Mesurier’s face had been cut with a sharp object, citing the UK outlet the Telegraph.
Istanbul Governor Ali Yerlikaya told reporters that “the Turkish Prosecutor’s Office and the police are making multifaceted efforts to highlight the incident, after extensive internet searches had been carried out.
There also the testimonies of a store owner in that area, cited by the Turkish channel Sana Al-Bison, and according to the testimony of Batuhan, one of the witnesses of the accident in the area, who runs a grocery store on the street of the Ali Pasha School. They said that a year ago there was a person claiming to be a Syrian in his fifties with poor clothes and white skin, and with blue eyes, he was selling napkins in the corner of the street, in which James died. This Syrian man reportedly stood there everyday until around 6 in the afternoon.
What is striking here is that this person had chosen the worst spot napkins in Turkey. He was not very talkative and very conservative, but the individual never appeared after James died, he vanished approximately 10 days before the incident.
Arohan Fakili, one of the street vendors in the city, said that he had seen the napkin seller more than once, and stated that his name was Muhammad, as reported by CNN.
The retired Turkish investigator, Mustafa Bayram, visited the scene two days after the accident and told reporters that there are still unanswered questions. He said that it made no sense it was suicide, and that it was likely a murder.
And as one of the salesmen reported, according to the camera records in his shop, James came to him a few hours before his death happy, with a smile on his face, to buy two packs of cigarettes, wearing a white shirt and milky white pants, and his expensive Rolex watch.
These are private video recordings, and here is the question: How did he wear the same clothes when he was sleeping as his wife claimed? Can a person who went to sleep under the influence of heavy medication keep himself fully groomed and go to sleep.
The last pictures show James shopping in the supermarket, and on the right is the photo of his dead body.
Looking at the location of the balcony and its distance from the place of the body, it can be observed that James, as alleged when he committed suicide, chose to walk all that distance on the balcony to commit suicide, for no apparent reason.
Was he walking willingly, or did he choose a more attractive spot to commit suicide?
One also wonders how a former British military intelligence officer could choose this method to commit suicide from a balcony on the second floor.
At the beginning of the investigation into the death of James Le Mesurier, the Turkish government was like instructed to promote it as a murder to accuse the Russian government after Russia’s statements about James four days prior to his death. This refers to the revelations that he was a former British intelligence officer. He was an active agent in Kosovo, as it was tweeted by the Russian Foreign Ministry.
#Zakharova: The White Helmets’ co-founder, James Le Mesurier, is a former agent of Britain’s MI6, who has been spotted all around the world, including in the #Balkans and the #MiddleEast. His connections to terrorist groups were reported back during his mission in #Kosovo. pic.twitter.com/Fa7JTuP39Z
— MFA Russia ?? (@mfa_russia) November 8, 2019
After it became clear to Western governments that the story of James’s murder at the hands of a Russian holds no water and is hardly believable, considering that there is no interest for Russia to kill him, the scenario of his death was changed. He suddenly became depressed and simply wanted to end his own life.
According to what the forensic doctor Nawzat Alkan, who first examined James’s body, said in a video interview, the location of the fall was not suitable for suicide, and his hands, feet and head were broken. This made no sense if it were suicide, and the distance from the balcony was also too far for somebody who had killed themselves.
Then, the Turkish media reported that it was a suicide, and two days later, James’s body was sent to Britain.
When his wife, Emma Weinberg, was questioned, she said that James was receiving psychiatric treatment and taking anti-depressant pills, and this was the opposite of what his friend Hamish Gordon said. He said that he had met James weeks before his death and he was in wonderful health, both mentally and physically.
Some might consider it difficult to accuse a Le Mesurier’s widow of killing her husband, but discovering Emma Winberg’s role at Mayday Rescue and associated organizations will provide a much-needed context for unraveling this complex case.
According to her LinkedIn profile that she later deleted, Weinberg worked as a political officer at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in the United Kingdom for seven years, until 2014. In January of 2015, she co-founded a company called Incostrat, most likely with Paul Tilley, who was an associate of Le Mesurier.
Incostrat was effectively established as an external public relations contractor for the “moderate armed opposition” in Syria and was funded by the British Foreign Office’s Conflict Stability and Security Fund (CSSF) – which also provides heavy funding to Mayday Rescue and the White Helmets.
The Incostrat subcontracting document reviewed by The Guardian described the Saudi-backed Army of Islam group as one of the “moderate armed opposition” groups that received media advice and guidance on promotional strategies.
Regarding her husband’s death, accusations were expected pointed at her, as no one entered the apartment and she was alone with him. Her departure from Turkey was prohibited until the investigation was closed and she was allowed to leave a month after her husband’s death, when she returned to Amsterdam.
According to the Guardian, Weinberg took a seat at Mayday Rescue several months after marrying James in February 2018, she was a member of the board of directors, before stepping down. In May 2019 she returned to the company as CEO.
Who is Hamish Gordon?
A retired former British Army general, he is a chemical weapons expert, founder of Doctors Under Fire, and Commanding Officer of the Joint UK Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear Regiment and NATO.
James Le Mesurier’s friend, Hamish Gordon, director of the Doctors Under Fire campaign group, spoke to Forces News about his impression of Mr. Le Mesurier.
Gordon said, “We’ve been in the military for quite some time, he was in the military for a relatively short time, I think five or six years, and then I met him again in 2014 when he conceived the idea of the White Helmets and it’s a tremendous feat, actually akin to the services organization the NHS Global Health.
“It takes a special kind of person to be able to do this.”
Gordon said the Syrian government and its allies “could” have considered James Le Mesurier as an enemy due to his work with the White Helmets.
“I know that James has received a lot of harsh direct criticism from Russia and the Syrian government, as do many of us who are trying to help on the humanitarian side in Syria, but the White Helmets have been the focus of much anxiety and mockery from the Russians and Syrians, and as the head of that organization, I am sure of he suffered much more than that.
I saw him in person a few weeks ago and communicated with him regularly via different parts of social media, and sure enough when I saw him in person, he was in great shape.
There was no indication that he was under any psychological pressure, at least not any more than you would expect from running a very large organization in a war zone.”
Investigating Hamish, it became clear that he had participated in the testimony to the United Nations, which accused the Syrian army of using chemicals in Eastern Ghouta in 2013. As such, he is a part of the team that carried out perjury. It essentially sets the stage that Gordon and Le Mesurier were against the Syrian government and Russia, and still Hamish Gordon didn’t accuse Russia of murdering him, but also denied a suicide.
Returning to the narrative claiming James died by suicide, the Guardian stated that his death came as a result of investigation pressures over the disclosure of sums that had been embezzled by James Le Mesurier and his wife Weinberg, according to auditor Cornelis Frizewijk.
The auditor concluded that James and his wife that they were corrupt and embezzled people. Vrieswijk stated that Emma spent $90,000 on her wedding dress and $250,000 to buy a speedboat. There were also serious doubts arose that Weinberg had withdrawn $55,000 from Mayday Resco in 2018 and did not return it. About what he said after the investigation and that Emma had worn a dress worth 1795 pounds as a gift from her mother.
The Dutch accountant discovered that leaders of the Dutch foundation behind the White Helmets, used the money earmarked for a rescue operation to reward themselves instead. James Le Missurier, founder of the White Helmets, died in what appeared to be a suicide days after that discovery, Volkswagen Krant reports based on her own research.
According to the newspaper, James received $50,000 in cash for the Flying Carpet operation on July 17, 2018, and after four days, about 100 White Helmets and their family members were smuggled from Syria to Jordan through Israel.
Al-Mayadin has an investigation in this regard after Its correspondent entered the country in disguise and conducted a meeting with the leaders of the White Helmets. 800 of them came from ISIS and Al-Nusra controlled areas through Israel. This is in stark contrast with what journalist Martin Shulov claimed in his article for the Guardian that about 100 members were transferred. This likely means that in addition 100 members of the White Helmets, 700 are from members of actual terrorist organizations.
Volkskrant wrote that fewer White Helmets could be saved than had been hoped, because the bulk of the $50,000 Le Mesurier took from Mayday’s vault in Istanbul was not used for the rescue. And the money had completely disappeared.
In the spring of 2019, a British accountant requested clarification and received receipts from James stating that after the evacuation from Jordan, the money was handed over to another manager, who signed off on it.
After that, Mayday established an emergency operations center in Istanbul, in case more White Helmets had to be rescued, and the money there was in a safe. The British accountant accepted that, as there were receipts to prove the claims.
But when the Dutch accountant went to check in November 2019, he found that the funds were missing and the receipts were forged. An employee involved in the scheme told him that James had asked him to sign old receipts. Following that, the accountant met with James to ask about the receipts, and he admitted to the fraud, according to De Volkskrant.
The next day, November 8, Le Mesurier wrote an email to the donor countries, admitting that the $50,000 had disappeared as a result of “fraud”, but added that there was no malicious intent.
“I bear full and only responsibility for that,” he wrote, according to the Guardianr. He discussed his fears that a second investigation by a forensic accountant would reveal “internal mistakes and failures” that could be in the interest of “Russia and the trolls loyal to Assad.” He left the choice of how to proceed to the donor countries, adding that he was ready to step down from Mayday if they requested it and to pay back any wrong expenditures.
Le Mesurier has established two companies during 2017 and 2019, (R3 Recovery and Mai Zahra)
R3 Recovery Company, founded by James with Weinberg and David based in Amsterdam, specializes in developing and implementing resilience solutions in the rescue environment, and the company name was changed to UGlobal))
In November 2018, when James resigned as director, James’s potential motivation to create this company might have been to transfer funds from Mayday Rescue to it in order to find resilience solutions.
Mai Zahra Company was founded by James alone in January 2019, and it is supposed to be based in the United Kingdom, but upon registering the company in Amsterdam, he established it using the services of an agent who forms companies and is known to specialize in money laundering.
The White Helmets and Mayday Rescue assisted individuals leave the areas controlled by the armed factions to the Syrian government, these reports coincide with reports to the Turkish media that James told his colleagues at Mayday Rescue that he plans to leave Turkey in June 2019, these reasons may be related to two factors: First, it comes down to leaks from OPCW inspectors reports, and secondly, payments by companies supporting Mayday Rescue began to wane as a result of the Dutch auditors’ reports.
By following up on the background of the case and the bifurcation of the parties that have a relationship with his death, the circle of suspicion goes around several sides with an interest vested in James Le Mesurier dying.
If the Turkish narrative about his suicide after taking sleeping pills is correct, and trying to portray him as a victim of depression caused by the Russian side. Why does the Turkish side have an interest in abolishing any doubts about his supposed murder? This was suspected by the British BBC correspondent Mark Urban, the incident sets out several scenarios for who is responsible for the alleged murder of James Le Mesurier.
I have deleted a strand about the unexplained death of @SyriaCivilDef founder James Le Mesurier in Istanbul. Shorter version: there’s a good deal of suspicion it may be murder by a state actor, but others suggest he may have taken his own life. I will pick up as it clarifies
— Mark Urban (@MarkUrban01) November 11, 2019
The disappearance of Muhammad, the “Syrian”, the napkin seller, 10 days before James’s murder, raises doubts about his role in monitoring or planning to kill James.
It must be noted that no one obtained the surveillance camera recordings in that area. Despite that the camera records could reveal all the circumstances of the case, as it reveals the balcony window from which he allegedly threw himself, and in all cases, falling from the balcony at this height, likely doesn’t cause death.
Based on the foregoing through the Dutch auditor, James in fact had been subjected to pressure by Mayday Rescue’s and the White Helmets’ donor countries to investigate the embezzled funds and has already admitted to fraud about these funds.
The message sent by James expressing his fear of another investigation by a forensic accountant and his suggestion to leave Mayday Rescue made the donorss, and especially the British Ministry of Development, concerned with the step that James would take, especially after relinquishing the support and management of an organization, which participated in falsifying the truth in Syria. As such this motive for murder may hold more water. These organizations, and perhaps British intelligence agencies, assassinated him four days after James Le Mesurier’s letter and his fateful meeting with the Dutch auditor Cornelis Frizewijk, according to Guardian writer Martin Schulov.
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