Posts Tagged ‘dominic cavendish’

November 2012

One Hour Eighteen Minutes, New Diorama, review

Daily Telegraph

In the UK, we’re familiar with the name of Anna Politkovskaya, the fearless Russian journalist and outspoken critic of the Putin regime gunned down outside her flat in Moscow in 2006.

Despite much thorough and expert reporting by the Telegraph’s economics editor Philip Aldrick, I suspect readers may be far less aware of the perturbing case of Russian tax lawyer Sergei Magnitsky, who died in a Moscow prison in November 2009 at the age of 37 as a consequence of appalling neglect – and probably abuse – by the authorities. He had been detained in increasingly squalid conditions for 358 days without trial.

Held on charges of tax evasion, his offence appears to have been that he uncovered a huge trail of fraud and corruption while working for the UK-based hedge fund Hermitage Capital Management – centring on the criminal hijacking of sundry legitimate Hermitage companies in order to reclaim $230m in tax from the Russian state.

Partly because this embezzlement was a complex business, Magnitsky – who is currently being tried posthumously, in a new low for Russian law – is not an easy name to conjure with but he has still become a cause celebre in the West and quite possibly a catalyst for significant change.

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