Posts Tagged ‘butryka’

November 2010

Adding Insult to Murder

Foreign Policy

15 November 2010 – One year ago tomorrow, Sergei Magnitsky was, for all intents and purposes, murdered after being held in a Russian jail for 358 days. Last week, Russian authorities figuratively spit on his grave as five officials connected to Magnitsky’s case were awarded commendations by the Interior Ministry. The evident absence of any accountability or justice in Russia has lead two members of the U.S. Congress to propose a visa ban and asset freeze against 60 Russian officials involved in the Magnitsky matter. Their efforts should be embraced by President Barack Obama’s administration, and European governments should adopt similar measures.

Magnitsky was a 37-year-old lawyer working for the Moscow firm Firestone Duncan where he represented the investment fund Hermitage Capital Management. Hermitage had been Russia’s largest foreign investor during the early Putin years — until, that is, its head, William Browder, ran afoul of certain Russian officials and had his visa revoked in 2005 on “national security” grounds. A British citizen, Browder had been pushing for greater rights for minority shareholders and better corporate governance among Russian companies. It seemed he pushed too far, especially against such prized state assets as Gazprom. In 2007, Russian authorities opened an investigation against him and Hermitage for tax evasion to the tune of $16.2 million.

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