Posts Tagged ‘Alexander Lukashevich’

July 2013

U.S. State Department Mulls Extending Magnitsky List

Moscow Times

The U.S. State Department is considering adding more Russian officials to the U.S. “Magnitsky list” after a Moscow court found late lawyer Sergei Magnitsky and former Hermitage Fund chief William Browder guilty of tax evasion, but Russia’s Foreign Ministry has warned of a harsh response.

Former State Department spokesperson Victoria Nuland on Friday called the ruling “a parody of justice” and said the possibility of adding new names to the list was being looked into, Interfax reported.

Nuland made her statement in response to a question from Senator John McCain in which he slammed the verdict handed down by the Tverskoi District Court on Thursday.

The court found that Magnitsky and Browder fraudulently stole more than $15 million in budget funds by way of an illegal tax break scheme using two of Hermitage Capital’s subsidiaries in the Kalmykia republic, Dalnaya Step and Saturn Investments between 1997 and 2002.

Browder, a British citizen, was tried in absentia on tax evasion charges as the British government refused to extradite him.

The State Department’s current spokesperson, Jen Psaki, said at a briefing Thursday that Washington was disappointed with Thursday’s “unprecedented ruling” against Magnitsky and that the trial had discredited attempts to bring the case to justice.

Magnitsky was imprisoned on tax evasion charges in 2008 soon after accusing officials of stealing $230 million in state funds, and he died in prison a year later. His imprisonment and death prompted an international outcry as many believed he had been falsely charged for the very same crime he discovered had been committed by officials.

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