08
February

OPEN LETTER

Candidate for Presidency of the Russian Federation from the
“United Russia” party
Mr Vladimir Putin
Candidate for Presidency of the Russian Federation from the
Communist Party of Russia
Mr Gennady Zyuganov
Candidate for Presidency of the Russian Federation from the
“Fair Russia” party
Mr Sergei Mironov
Independent candidate for Presidency of the Russian Federation
Mr Mikhail Prokhorov
Candidate for Presidency of the Russian Federation from the
Liberal Democratic party of Russia
Mr Vladimir Zhirinovsky

8 February 2012

OPEN LETTER

In Russia today, every party’s election platform includes fighting corruption. Every candidate for the Presidency speaks of the urgent need to combat corruption. However, as Russian poet Mikhail Svetlov once wrote, “it is easier to love all mankind, rather than a neighbor in your apartment”. Likewise, it is easier for the Presidential candidates to promise to fight corruption in general, rather than to imprison a few corrupt officials, whose names are well known to all Russians.

Three shameful years have passed since the day when Sergey Magnitsky, a lawyer advising our client Hermitage Capital, was murdered after exposing the theft of 5.4 billion rubles from the Russian budget. The criminals who conducted these crimes, theft and then murder, were caught red-handed. The family members of the former head of the tax inspectorate – Olga Stepanova and her subordinates, who illegally refunded tens of billions of rubles from the Russian budget on the basis of clearly forged documents, became richer by at least US$ 40 million. Immediately after the fraudulent tax return, the families of the Interior Ministry officers Artem Kuznetsov and Pavel Karpov, who were involved in the crime itself and in the cover up the crime, become richer by at least US$ 3 million and US$ 1.5 million respectively. Not a single official has been punished for these crimes.

Sergei Magnitsky, who uncovered this multibillion ruble fraud against the Russian State and people, was charged of committing a non-existent tax crime and illegally arrested by the very same Interior Ministry officers whom he had accused of committing this fraud. He was tortured in prison, his health was broken and he was deprived of required medical treatment and finally beaten to death in a cell of the “Matrosskaya Tishina” detention centre while awaiting emergency medical treatment. After his death, the same Interior Ministry officers who Sergei Magnitsky accused and who murdered him, have brought a fabricated case against Sergei Magnitsky and accused him of the theft that they themselves participated in.

For almost three years the Russian State has passively watched and allowed this organized criminal group, consisting of senior State officials from the tax and law enforcement agencies, as well criminal bankers, lawyers and convicted violent criminals to mock the memory of Sergei Magnitsky and his family and to make a mockery of the Russian justice system, ultimately destroying people’s faith in Russian government. In the worst traditions of the Middle Ages, under protection from the General Prosecution Office, guidance from the FSB and the Interior Ministry, “corrupt officers” continue to persecute Sergei Magnitsky even after his murder by illegally trying a dead man under a fabricated case and interrogating and intimidating his mother and widow.

Despite the unprecedented public outcry, both in Russia and abroad, the police have not done anything to investigate these crimes and punish the real murderers and perpetrators. They have ignored the evidence presented to them in every legitimate complaint and have instead created fabricated cases designed to exonerate the officials and criminal organizers behind these crimes and to blame low level doctors, petty criminals, dead men, and now Sergei Magnitsky, the man who died trying to prevent the theft of billions rubles. Many police officers, prosecutors and other State officials have been involved in this massive cover-up which is obviously designed to protect the criminals and State officials who committed these heinous crimes. Some of these officials involved are clearly high ranking.

This week I filed a criminal complaint with the Head of the Investigative Committee of Russia demanding the prosecution of dozens of law enforcement officials for concealing the truth, falsifying evidence and committing crimes resulting in the exoneration of all the high level people behind the theft and the murder of Magnitsky. These officials have made it possible for these thieves and murderers to escape from their crimes and to enjoy spending ill gotten money stolen from the Russian people in complete safety. (More information can be found about this complaint by visiting http://russian-untouchables.com/rus/ukryvatelstvo-realnykh-ispolnitelei/).

I appeal to you, the candidates for the highest political office in Russia, to speak about what you will do so that Magnitsky’s murderers, people who have stolen billions from the Russian people, end up in jail so that this shameful incident which is destroying people’s faith in the Russian government is brought to an end. The Russian people and the international community will not believe the sincerity of your willingness to fight corruption until you demonstrate that you are willing to punish the people who stole from the entire country and murdered Sergei Magnitsky to hide their crime.

Jamison Firestone

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