"It's rather my mistake," said Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov. "The mistake of those who prepared the briefing documents. There was some unverified information there, which was given to the president without being double-checked. I mean the part about the owners of Suddeutsche Zeitung."
"There was information there that had not been checked and rechecked again and we gave it to President Putin. We have apologized (to the bank) and we will also apologize to the publication," he added.
While Putin's name wasn't explicitly listed in the leaked documents, his close associates were linked to offshore accounts handled by Mossack Fonseca. Among them was Sergei Roldugin, a famous cellist in Russia and a very close friend of Putin, who was found to be the owner of $2 billion worth of offshore assets, as stated in the Panama Papers.
The Panama Papers were published by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) on April 3 after the data had been processed for a considerable period of time. It exposed massive tax evasion by numerous entities all over the world, and the full list of companies involved is set to be published in early May. The 11.5 millions documents totaled 2.6 terabytes and spanned from the 1970s until late 2015, involving much of the 300,000 companies managed by Mossack Fonseca throughout the years.
[Image via AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko]