Posts Tagged ‘sfa’

December 2012

Police ‘ignored dossier in dead Russian witness case’: ‘Victim’ accuses City force, FSA and SFO of inaction Agencies ‘given evidence before unexplained death’

The Guardian

Police and anti-fraud agencies have been criticised by the alleged victim of a multimillion-pound fraud for ignoring dossiers of evidence – including death threats and intimidation – linking the crime with the UK, months before a witness connected to the case was found dead.

The body of Alexander Perepilichnyy, 44, was found outside his Surrey home on 10 November. His death is described as “unexplained” following two postmortems, with toxicology tests to come.

He was a key witness in a case involving the theft of pounds 140m in tax revenue from the Russian government. The alleged fraudsters are said to have stolen three companies from a UK-based investment firm, Hermitage Capital, and used them to perpetrate the fraud – leaving Hermitage in the frame for the criminal acts.

The case is known as the “Magnitsky case”, after one of Hermitage’s Russian lawyers, Sergei Magnitsky, who was found dead in a Russian prison in 2009 with his body showing signs of torture.

A motion from the parliamentary assembly of the Council of Europe said Magnitsky had been “killed . . . while in pre-trial detention in Moscow after he refused to change his testimony”.

Bill Browder, the founder of Hermitage Capital, has been trying to secure convictions for the death of Magnitsky, as well as those implicated in the alleged fraud against his company, for four years. Documents seen by the Guardian show that in January and February Browder’s lawyers passed a criminal complaint to the City of London police, the Serious Fraud Office (SFO), the Financial Services Authority (FSA) and Serious Organised Crime Agency (SOCA).

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