Posts Tagged ‘ted folkman’

October 2013

Case of the Day: Karpov v. Browder

International Judicial Assistance

The case of the day is Karpov v. Browder, [2013] EWHC 3071 (QB). The case arose out of the death of Sergei Magnitsky in a Russian prison in 2009. Magnitsky had been investigating a tax fraud committed in Russia. His death in custody was widely condemned, and in fact, the US enacted a new statute, the Sergei Magnitsky Rule of Law Accountability Act of 2012, which prohibits those Russian officials the US government considered to be responsible for Magnitsky’s abuse and death from entering the United States or accessing the banking system.

The defendants in the case were Hermitage Capital Management Ltd., its CEO, William F. Browder, a UK affiliate of the Fund, and a Russian law firm, Firestone Duncan (CIS) Ltd. Magnitsky, before his death, had worked for Firestone Duncan. He was investigating an allegation that the Klyuev Gang, apparently an organized crime group, had conspired to take control of some Hermitage Fund subsidiaries and thus to procure an illegal $230 million tax refund from the Russian government, which went to the conspirators. After Magnitsky’s death, the defendants pushed for accountability. Their efforts included, notably, English- and Russian-language websites that featured videos. Mr. Browder also gave an interview to the BBC and wrote an article in Foreign Policy. In all of these materials, Pavel Karpov, a Russian investigator, was named. Karpov claimed that the materials were defamatory insofar as they implied that he was guilty of Magnitsky’s murder, that he was party to the tax fraud, and that he had previously trumped up charges against another, Fedor Mikheev, in order to cover up the fact that he (Karpov) had kidnapped Mikheev in an attempt to extort money from him.

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