The Magnitskiy Myth Exploded 181


The conscientious judges of the European Court of Human Rights published a judgement a fortnight ago which utterly exploded the version of events promulgated by Western governments and media in the case of the late Mr Magnitskiy. Yet I can find no truthful report of the judgement in the mainstream media at all.

The myth is that Magnitskiy was an honest rights campaigner and accountant who discovered corruption by Russian officials and threatened to expose it, and was consequently imprisoned on false charges and then tortured and killed. A campaign over his death was led by his former business partner, hedge fund manager Bill Browder, who wanted massive compensation for Russian assets allegedly swindled from their venture. The campaign led to the passing of the Magnitskiy Act in the United States, providing powers for sanctioning individuals responsible for human rights abuses, and also led to matching sanctions being developed by the EU.

However the European Court of Human Rights has found, in judging a case brought against Russia by the Magnitskiy family, that the very essence of this story is untrue. They find that there was credible evidence that Magnitskiy was indeed engaged in tax fraud, in conspiracy with Browder, and he was rightfully charged. The ECHR also found there was credible evidence that Magnitskiy was indeed a flight risk so he was rightfully detained. And most crucially of all, they find that there was credible evidence of tax fraud by Magnitskiy and action by the authorities “years” before he started to make counter-accusations of corruption against officials investigating his case.

This judgement utterly explodes the accepted narrative, and does it very succinctly:

The applicants argued that Mr Magnitskiy’s arrest had not been based on a reasonable suspicion of a
crime and that the authorities had lacked impartiality as they had actually wanted to force him to
retract his allegations of corruption by State officials. The Government argued that there had been
ample evidence of tax evasion and that Mr Magnitskiy had been a flight risk.
The Court reiterated the general principles on arbitrary detention, which could arise if the
authorities had complied with the letter of the law but had acted with bad faith or deception. It
found no such elements in this case: the enquiry into alleged tax evasion which had led to
Mr Magnitskiy’s arrest had begun long before he had complained of fraud by officials. The decision
to arrest him had only been made after investigators had learned that he had previously applied for
a UK visa, had booked tickets to Kyiv, and had not been residing at his registered address.
Furthermore, the evidence against him, including witness testimony, had been enough to satisfy an
objective observer that he might have committed the offence in question. The list of reasons given
by the domestic court to justify his subsequent detention had been specific and sufficiently detailed.
The Court thus rejected the applicants’ complaint about Mr Magnitskiy’s arrest and subsequent
detention as being manifestly ill-founded.

“Manifestly ill founded”. The mainstream media ran reams of reporting about the Magnitskiy case at the time of the passing of the Magnitskiy Act. I am offering a bottle of Lagavulin to anybody who can find me an honest and fair MSM report of this judgement reflecting that the whole story was built on lies.

Magnitskiy did not uncover corruption then get arrested on false charges of tax evasion. He was arrested on credible charges of tax evasion, and subsequently started alleging corruption. That does not mean his accusations were unfounded. It does however cast his arrest in a very different light.

Where the Court did find in favour of Magnitskiy’s family is that he had been deprived of sufficient medical attention and subject to brutality while in jail. I have no doubt this is true. Conditions in Russian jails are a disgrace, as is the entire Russian criminal justice system. There are few fair trials and conviction rates remain well over 90% – the judges assume that if you are being prosecuted, the state wants you locked up, and they comply. This is one of many areas where the Putin era will be seen in retrospect as lacking in meaningful and needed domestic reform. Sadly what happened to Magnitskiy on remand was not special mistreatment. It is what happens in Russian prisons. The Court also found Magnitskiy’s subsequent conviction for tax evasion was unsafe, but only on the (excellent) grounds that it was wrong to convict him posthumously.

The first use of the Magnitsky Act was to sanction those subject to Browder’s vendetta in his attempts to regain control of vast fortunes in Russian assets. But you may be surprised to hear I do not object to the legislation, which in principle is a good thing – although the chances of Western governments bringing sanctions to bear on the worst human rights abusers are of course minimal. Do not expect it to be used against Saudi Arabia, Bahrain or Israel any time soon.

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181 thoughts on “The Magnitskiy Myth Exploded

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  • Kat

    This is excellent news, Browder will be keckin’ himself now, “The Grand Deception: The Browder Hoax”, is finally starting to unravel. And if anyone is interested, that is the title of an excellent book by Alex Kramer, and it is very much worth reading. It’s a thorough investigation of what Browder was up to in Russia. Together with the film by Nekrasov they tell you everything you need to know about the man that helped bring Russia to its financial knees before Putin stepped in to prevent his country being bankrupted by the West.

    • Njegod

      Totally agree. To which I would add the Prevezon depositions where viewers get to watch Browder’s cock-and-bull story collapse in the space of 7 hours.

    • TJ

      I’d go with the documentary, it’s fun to watch Nekrasov assume everything he is being told is true at the beginning and then watch as doubt starts to creep in. Plot twists aren’t just for fiction.

      • Njegos

        It’s a great documentary for sure (I watched it 4 times) and it’s the perfect starting point to understand the giant holes in BB’s narrative. And as you say, it’s all the more powerful for the fact that Nekrasov initially believed BB’s BS but comes to realise he is being fed horse manure.

        The Prevezon depositions blew my mind. It’s literally 7 hours of BB under oath feigning poor memory and ignorance interspersed with denials of documented facts presented as exhibits. He is completely unable to defend his version of events. A fraudster laid bare. No wonder the scumbag ran away from that subpoena.

        What angers me is that all these depositions are available on the internet yet not one major news network makes any reference to them. The connivance between the MSM and Browder (and maybe the intelligence services) is the real scandal here and it remains unexposed.

        • Adrian, J'Accuse News

          The entire court docket United States of America v. Prevezon Holdings Ltd. et al, 1:13-cv-06326 (S.D.N.Y.) is accessible – for free reading (and limited free downloads per day) @
          https://www.docketalarm.com/cases/New_York_Southern_District_Court/1–13-cv-06326/United_States_of_America_v._Prevezon_Holdings_Ltd._et_al/ (Via Pacer you can access most of the documents – and all for free download.)

          There’s more than enough evidence found in this one website alone to entirely demolish the Magnitsky hoax (several times over). As you’ve noted, Browder’s own deposition is fatal to his cause. His videotaped deposition on YouTube establishes the profound lack of integrity of the man and his claims.

          Demonstrating how this smoke-and-mirrors scam is constructed is the examination of the US government’s lead investigator into the purported “Magnitsky monies” tracing. This fabrication is branded by the Hermitage players in SDNY court as records of “Klyuev Organized Crime Group’s Money Laundering Network”. (In current times, a related document-salad is re-branded for media consumption and regurgitation as “Troika Laundromat” records.)

          US Department of Homeland Security Special Investigator Todd S. Hyman is presented to show how the claims of Browder et al regarding money transferred are supported by the documents. Hyman’s self-destructing testimony is, in ways, just as damaging as is Browder’s riot of evasion and obfuscation.

          Hyman’s testimony makes clear that no independent due diligence and authentication has been done by the US government. No real witnesses have been interviewed – the government case relies on first, second, and third-hand information from the Hermitage team. No banks or other institutions have authenticated docs provided by Browder et al. And so on.

          (Thus, the only arena in which this con-game can succeed is that of Hermitage’s propaganda campaign exploiting the press and political podiums. Journalists also fail to do due diligence, but, they can get away with this. They are not required to meet factual standards such as are required of, for example, Hyman in a court of law. And, of course, there are some corrupt journalists who are part of the Hermitage campaign in still more direct ways.)

          As it becomes evident in the SDNY court process that the Magnitsky money-tracing is farcical legerdemain, the question is put to Hyman, ace investigator handling this aspect for Preet Bharara, then US Attorney for the Southern District of New York:

          “So every transfer here is based on copies that are not authenticated, of records that are incomplete, based on an accounting assumption. Is that right?”

          “That would be correct.” Hyman replies.

          A video encapsulation of Todd Hyman’s extraordinarily embarrassing exam under-oath, excerpted from “The Magnitsky Act: Behind the Scenes”, the revelatory documentary film referred to by numerous other commentators here, is found @ https://youtu.be/fT1be9zeF8o

          Hyman’s full video-taped testimony, in two parts, is found @ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E5SQTYfngW0 (DHS Investigator Todd Hyman 2014 Deposition Part 1 – one hour, 48 minutes) and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uwJbMRqiWKY (DHS Investigator Todd Hyman 2014 Deposition Part 2 – one hour, 33 minutes).

          Read/view it and weep at the state of what passes for evidence in the hands of today’s media.

        • Paul Barbara

          @ Njegos September 19, 2019 at 10:17
          ‘…(and maybe the intelligence services)..?? What on earth do you think ‘Integrity Initiative’ is?

  • Curious

    An obscene use of Canada’s version of the Magnitskiy Act has been used to “compensate” American ‘terror victims’
    Fri Sep 13, 2019 https://www.presstv.com/Detail/2019/09/13/606077/Canada-court-Iran-assets-seizure-terror-victims

    Canada has awarded $30 million worth of Iranian assets to the victims of terrorist attacks…, according to a document filed in the Ontario Superior Court of Justice in August. Canada awarded the proceeds of the confiscated Iranian Cultural Center in Ottawa, and the Center for Iranian Studies in Toronto, along with money seized from Iran’s bank accounts to Americans including the family of Marla Bennett, a US citizen killed in a 2002 bombing that rocked the Hebrew University in [occupied?] Jerusalem al-Quds. The attacks are mostly blamed on Palestinian and Lebanese resistance movements Hamas [I think the PA was actually blamed] and Hezbollah. The families claimed that the Iranian government supported the two organizations and was therefore responsible for their actions.
    The complaints were first filed in the US but the claimants turned to Canada after finding out that the Iranian government had more properties and bank accounts there.
    In July 2017, a Canadian court required the Islamic Republic to pay around $1.7 billion in damages to “American victims of terrorism.”
    from: https://www.presstv.com/Detail/2019/09/13/606077/Canada-court-Iran-assets-seizure-terror-victims

    • Sharp Ears

      Who instructed Trudeau to carry this out and when? At one of the meets of the gangsters-in-charge?

      • Jonathan

        Anyone who destroys the bourgeois capitalist order is a friend of humanity. Even if it means getting outside help to get there. GO on, prove me wrong.

      • Paul Barbara

        @ Martinned September 17, 2019 at 10:56
        Would you agree that the US, UK, France, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Turkey, Isr*el and a host of other war-criminal cronies didn’t fund and assist their mercenary headchoppers to invade Syria, Iraq and Libya?
        Hasn’t the West paid and enabled the headchoppers’ PR crew, the White Helmets, to post well-promoted False Flag ‘porkies’ to provoke Western attacks on Syria?
        Do you not find Saudi Arabia and it’s cronies’ War Crimes against the Yemeni people, and the Apartheid Rogue Regime’s atrocities against the people of Palestine and Gaza, not an abomination of terrorism?

    • james

      i am sure this is thanks our present foreign affairs minister crystia freeland…. she never misses an opportunity to show her fealty to the usa… i hope she is voted out this oct 21st, although maybe the soros money will keep her in place…

  • Martinned

    I assume that no one is at all surprised that you skipped right past the bit in the press release where it says that ” the authorities had deprived Mr Magnitskiy of important medical care and had failed to comply with their duty to protect his life under Article 2.”

    Anything to defend the Russian government, right?

    • John2o2o

      To whom is your comment addressed Martinned?

      Craig Murray is certainly not defending the Russian government in his piece above:

      “Conditions in Russian jails are a disgrace, as is the entire Russian criminal justice system.”

      Personally, I know very little of the Russian government. I defend what I consider to be the truth. I certainly would defend the Russian government on Venezuela for example. I would also defend the right of the people of Crimea to become part of the Russian Federation as is their wish. Russian foreign policy strikes me as very much more sane and rational than the foreign policy of most western countries at present, especially the UK and US.

      I don’t think anyone defends terrorism here.

      • Martinned

        My mistake. I overlooked that bit, buried as it is among six paragraphs of character assassination of a man who was killed by the Russian government because he challenged their lucrative corruption racket.

        • John2o2o

          I disagree Martinned.

          If you believe in the truth then you ought to watch Andrei Nekrasov’s film.

          If on the other hand you are simply taking the position you do in order to promote anti-Russian propaganda then there is little more I can say to you.

          • Martinned

            If you don’t mind, I’m going to apply some basic heuristics to decide what I watch/read. Watching something bought and paid for by the Kremlin that explains why the Kremlin is as innocent as a new-born lamb doesn’t seem like a very useful way to spend my time.

            (The same goes for Craig’s blog, of course, but that at least has entertainment value.)

          • Piotr Berman

            Conditions in prisons in USA are not anything to brag about either, I would love to see some comparative study of the penal systems in USA and Russia. Does it mean that UK and EU (separatedly?) should impose sanctions on USA?

        • Jonathan

          How much are you being paid to defend lying psychopaths like Browder? Why would anyone give their own lives to defend the parasitic financial class?

        • Yevgeny Goncharov

          Martinned: “Watching something bought and paid for by the Kremlin that explains why the Kremlin is as innocent as a new-born lamb doesn’t seem like a very useful way to spend my time.”
          —————-
          Another act of stupidity on your part (after accusing Craig in “..skipping past”).
          Because the movie (The Magnitsky Act) was not “bought and paid for by the Kremlin”. It’s simple to verify. Apparently, you are incapable of doing even elementary deductions (“basic heuristics”, LOL )

      • Adrian, J'Accuse News

        There’s more then enough evidence to be found in the US SDNY court docket @ https://www.docketalarm.com/cases/New_York_Southern_District_Court/1–13-cv-06326/United_States_of_America_v._Prevezon_Holdings_Ltd._et_al/ to demolish the Magnitsky hoax several times over.

        On the first page of comments to Craig’s post here I’ve summarized an element of the financial scamming of Sergei Magnitsky, Bill Browder et al – and there’s plenty more on my site @ https://jaccuse.news

        One of the criminal schemes engaged in by Magnitsky, Browder and other Hermitage, Firestone Duncan and HSBC-related players – in the late 1990s/early 2000s involved exploitation of disabled people in Kalmykia as props in a giant tax-fraud. An afghan war vet on disability, a Chernobyl clean-up victim, + people with mental disabilities – were falsely claimed by Hermitage, (HSBC as trustee), companies Saturn Investments LLC and Dalnaya Step LLC as “expert financial analysts”. This fake employee roster – false tax returns were signed by Browder – resulted in the Hermitage group falsely receiving $multi-millions in illegally obtained tax benefits.

        Saturn and Dalnaya actually had no physical operations – they were shells used for funneling of funds from other schemes through Hermitage et al’s Cyprus shells. The disabled people testified they did no work, other witnesses and documentary evidence proved it was all a fraud – and it’s this which resulted in the arrest of Magnitsky – and the conviction of Browder. (Magnitsky’s never convicted due to his tragic death.)

        If our press was more truthful it’s possible that Magnitsky could still be alive today. Certainly if Browder and his Hermitage team was truthful and honest that’s a real possibility.

    • Njegos

      Here’s what you need to know: Browder is a crook and a liar. The one thing his defenders have in common is that they take Browder’s word for everything. His bullshit has been sanctified by a media looking for any excuse to demonise Russia. They never ask any tough questions of Browder. He is invariably portrayed as a human rights hero when the evidence overwhelmingly contradicts his version of events.

      To anyone who thinks that Browder is a beacon of transparency and human rights justice then please answer the following questions:

      Why did his lawyers block the screening of Andrei Nekrasov’s documentary before the European parliament?

      Why did they pressure the Arte channel to drop the film (Arte commissioned the film in the first instance!)

      Why did they ask NBC to kill Ken Dilanian’s investigation of the Magnitsky in which he expressed skepticism about Browder’s version of events?

      Why did they ask Amazon to stop distributing Alex Krainer’s expose of Browder Lies?

      Why did Browder run away from a US court subpoena requiring him to testify in the Prevezon case?

      Why did Browder never mention Magnitsky’s ordeals to anyone including human rights organisarions until after Magnitsky had died?

      Why did Browder use a famous 1960’s photo image of a beaten up Freedom Rider from the American south (Jim Zwerg) in a powerpoint presentation attacking the Russian police persecution claiming it was a picture of a Hermitage lawyer?

      Is such behaviour consistent with the defense of truth, transparency and human rights?

  • Alexander

    I have always been curious as to why Browder decided to become a British citizen. Does anyone know?

    I can’t imagine that he wasn’t working with the US Embassy in Moscow in some way in the nineties. In his book he claims that in those days he got information about beneficial ownership of off-shore companies involving Russians from boys selling CDs on the street (!). More likely from the CIA offices there. My guess is that he was playing both sides against the middle, his main aim being to enrich himself and possibly his backers, but it wouldn’t be surprising if he was stiffing them as well.

    • Lisa

      As far as I know, his citizenship was changed at the time when the US started to tax the foreign income a person had. Thus, being only a British citizen, he avoided this taxation. When asked about this, he, naturally explained that he felt at home in Britain and loved the country, and the change in taxation laws just happened to coincide with his decision.

  • Martinned

    There is actually some pretty funny stuff in this judgment, if you have that sort of sense of humour:

    235. The Court is aware that the domestic authorities addressed at least some of the first applicant’s injuries. In particular, they concluded that the injuries were “self-inflicted during aggressive and inappropriate behaviour” on the part of the first applicant. The Court does not accept that explanation. The finding was formulated in very broad terms and was not supported by any evidence. Not a single witness questioned during the inquiry saw the first applicant injuring himself. The witnesses only stated that he had dashed about in the cell and had hit a medical couch against metal bars. None of those actions was linked to the possible cause of his injuries.

    “O no, Your Honour, we didn’t beat him up. The prisoner punched himself in the face!”

    • John2o2o

      Andrei Nekrasov is a film producer highly critical of Vladimir Putin. This is why he was commissioned by Browder to make a film to promote his claims about Magnitsky. Browder expected Nekrasov to side with him in this matter.

      Nekrasov explains very clearly in his film that he became suspicious of Browder’s claims regarding violence as he was unable to replicate the scenes for the film in the way that Browder was claiming. I quote from another reviewer of the film:

      “when Nekrasov tries to film the beating of Magnitsky in his cell, he realizes that 7 + 1 men just cannot fit into a small Russian prison cell, much less wave their arms about hitting the same target.”
      https://www.globalresearch.ca/american-fiction-and-russian-realism-the-magnitsky-act-behind-the-scenes/5649766

      Nobody is denying that Magnitsky died in a Russian prison. Regrettably, many people die in prison. Magnitsky was denied proper medical care, but after having seen the film I do not accept Browder’s version of events.

      • Geoffrey

        As you say 2o2o Nekrasov explains his motivation convincingly, he states that he and Browder mixed with similar people and he was sympathetic to many of his views.
        It is a very convincing film, which made me want to get hold of the above book, written by another hedge fund manager, which Browder seems to have been able to stop distribution of.

      • Kempe

        So never mind the post-mortem which identified the death as being caused by “traumatic application of the blunt hard object (objects)” as confirmed by “abrasions, ecchymomas (bruising), blood effusions into the soft tissues” the film has to be correct. Browder wasn’t an eye-witness to the beating, possibly his information as to the location and number of people involved was incorrect. It’s a big step and goes against the evidence to conclude that the beating never took place.

        • Brendan

          the post-mortem which identified the death as being caused by “traumatic application of the blunt hard object (objects)” as confirmed by “abrasions, ecchymomas (bruising), blood effusions into the soft tissues”(…)

          That’s what Wikipedia says about Magnitsky’s cause of death, but if you look at Wikipedia’s reference for that it only says that he had suffered those injuries (and not that they caused his death). https://web.archive.org/web/20190917184403/https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sergei_Magnitsky#cite_note-:0-18

          The ECHR did not suggest either that those injuries were a factor in his death.

          That piece of fiction is still there in Wikipedia, but at least that page no longer describes Magnitsky as a lawyer. That was corrected (to tax advisor) a few months ago – after nine years. Maybe cracks in Browder’s version of the story are slowly appearing?

          • Kempe

            Nevertheless he was beaten, tortured, which the Russian authorities denied and in his weakened state resulting from the denial of proper medical care probably contributed to his death.

          • John2o2o

            @ Kempe, no. This is not true. Nekrasov convincingly explains that Magnitsky could not have been beaten in the way that Browder claims.

            I know you don’t like Russia kempe and that what I say will not convince you.

        • Paul Barbara

          @ Kempe September 17, 2019 at 18:26
          Perhaps he was attacked by 7 Ninja Pigmies; or perhaps, someone was lying.

      • ZigZag Wanderer

        Thankyou for pointing out the falsehood peddled by Martinned regarding the commission of the Andrei Nekrasov film.
        No doubt he’ll take a heuristic approach to his ignorant Russophobia and decide to continue spouting rubbish because it’s easier that way .

  • Geoffrey

    Yes, thanks Craig for pointing this out, I have tried to buy The Killing of Bill Browder I think its called for months but you can’t buy it anywhere that I know of, anyone know where it can be bought ?

    • Lisa

      Geoffrey,

      Quite some time ago this book “The Killing of William Browder” was free to download on the web. It seems the author allowed it because the book was excluded from Amazons bookstore, and he wanted to spread the material freely. Now I don’t find a functioning link to do it. I still have the book as pdf-file, but how can I forward it to you?

      There is a small publishing house, selling some books, banned by Amazon, can’t remember the name.

      • Lisa

        Geoffrey,

        Now I found the publisher: Red Pill Press. They are at least selling Alex Krainer’s book:
        Grand Deception: The Truth About Bill Browder, the Magnitsky Act, and Anti-Russian Sanctions. Price $ 25.

        • Geoffrey

          Lisa, I have tried to buy from Red Pill Press, but unfortunately they say there is no way of sending it to me, so can not sell it to me. Thanks for for trying though.

    • Leslie Dittrich

      The book can be found on the internet for FREE in pdf form. That’s how I got my copy a year or so ago.

    • Brett Harris

      Geoffrey, the ebook “Grand Deception: The Browder Hoax” by Alex Krainer can be purchased at
      https://thirdalliance.ch/product/grand-deception-the-browder-hoax/

      This is just a re-issue with a change of title, and minor edits which Alex again tried to sell on Amazon. But again, Jonathan Winer, Browder’s attorney threatened Amazon, and it was taken down a second time. Yes – the same Jonathan Winer who was Christopher Steele’s handler in the Kerry State Dept, and a good reason to believe Browder was in on the Steele Dossier, and the Trump Tower meeting, especially since his goal was to discredit Natalia Veselnitskaya, law firm Baker-Hostetler, and Glen Simpson. Coincidently, Browder just happened to be appealing his own deposition in the Prevezon Case, in New York on 9 July 2016.

      There is even a smoking gun, why hasn’t Browder been charged with Obstruction. http://bit.ly/2w8SskT

  • Godfree Roberts

    “There are few fair trials and conviction rates remain well over 90%”

    I have heard the same criticisms made of the Japanese and Chinese systems yet the people who live under them, Japanese and Chinese citizens, are extremely pleased with them.

    Magistrates in China have always been regarded as neutral truth seekers. As in France, they interrogate suspects, examine evidence, hear testimony, render verdicts and determine guilt and innocence pre-trial. Since most case work involves paper depositions, questioning witnesses under oath before a judge–intended only to confirm the contents of their depositions–makes cross-examination uncommon. Nevertheless, Chinese defendants have rights unknown in the West.

    While American defendants who testify lose their fifth amendment rights against self-incrimination, Chinese defendants have the right to make a statement while not under oath and to say anything they want in their defense and not be cross examined. If it appears that there is insufficient evidence for a conviction, the judge will suggest that the procurate either reduce the charges or investigate further. If the case goes to trial, it’s likely that the verdict is guilty and the purpose of the trial is sentencing whereas, in our system, cases end and there is no trial. In China there is always a trial, even if a defendant confesses to a crime and simply wants to end the matter, the magistrate holds a short, public trial and asks the defendant to confirm his confession publicly.

    Perhaps Russia’s system as similar? Has anyone experienced it?

    • Alexander

      You are much much better off in the British system than the Russian one (unless your name is Assange). Russians know this which is why they often bring their disputes to London. I believe the system where the lower courts answer to the Administration is the Napoleonic one. It is sometimes called “telephone justice” in that the judge in the lower court, after evidence has been presented, will go and call whoever he answers to, to find out what the verdict should be. Don’t get involved in it if you can avoid it!

      • Tatyana

        I know a very good sample of telephone justice!
        Mr. Browder was released by Spanish police after several hours detention, he boasted then in his Twitter that he is immune of Interpol warrants.
        I also remember Paris, Lisbon, Rome and Madrid refusing to let bolivian president’s plane to land. Vienna was kind to let it land and even *good Samaritans* helped to search the plane for Mr. Snowden.
        I’m sure only London stays away of telephone justice, Mr. Assange can confirm it 🙂

      • Spb-Stan

        The Russian system has been reformed and now citizens for juris instead of a judge determining guilt.
        Craig mentioned a 90% conviction rate which is much lower than the US conviction rate of 99%.Only very wealthy in the US can defend themselves so prosectors are allowed to bootrap simple cases in to many lesser crimes, often nonsense, but the sentence they can propose in this manner is usually 150 years in prison by charging them as seperate required consecutive sentences. The result is someone pleading guilty to a lesser charge, even if innocent. It is better to be tried in a Russian court.

        • Igor P.P.

          Russian juris have much higher acquittal rates (near 20%?). But they can judge only serious violent crimes, so there’re mixed views of this in society.

        • Elena

          The conservative estimate seems to be that over 90% of cases end in guilty pleas. The United States Courts website estimates that more than 90% of federal cases resolve this way. A 2012 New York Times article reported that 97% of federal cases and 94% of state cases end via plea bargain. Of the ones that do end up in trial, the conviction rate is well over 90%. The sentences are by far the longest in the world for similar crimes, with 31 states having the death penalty as an option (capital punishment does not exist in Russia).
          The conditions in the American prisons are absolutely inhumane and deplorable. Keeping people in solitary confinement for weeks, months, and years is practiced widely. Medical help is close to non-existent. (In a neighboring town, a young guy died in jail after screaming for 72 hours – he had some kind of infection, his spleen ruptured, he bled out. The guards never opened up his cell. He was in jail for passing bad checks.)
          As discovered by The Guardian journalists, on average 650 to 850 people die in American jails BEFORE their trial every year. Those people are still innocent, as they have not yet been found guilty. There is no nationwide statistic, so the journalists had to look at every single county.
          So, before berating Russia and Putin for their prisons, why don’t we improve conditions here in the US.

  • Ralph

    There is a very good reason why the Magnitskiy Act exists in the USA, and browder thought he could use that against Russia for Russia upsetting his ‘financial goals’, so you need to look at browder’s background…

  • Greg Burton

    The Magnitsky Act – Behind the Scenes
    https://vimeo.com/289434260

    ‘What started as a docu-drama about a Russian police plot to steal a billion dollars from a US financier and to murder his faithful tax lawyer Sergei Magnitsky, became an investigation of a massive hoax and an unprecedented international cover-up.

    The Magnitsky Case in the version of the financier Bill Browder became the basis for laws and sanctions targeting Russian police and other officials, and for the claims that Putin personally had received a share of the millions looted from the Russian people.

    The film’s director and a Kremlin critic, Andrei Nekrasov discovers that a narrative defining Western Russia policies is riddled with falsehoods.’

  • Teflon Don

    Did the ECHR make any determination on the tax allegations or did it just take those as assumed facts for ruling on the events in detention. If the latter then they have not made any ruling at all.

    The problem with your analysis is it can not then explain all events subsequently – like why officials involved were enriched, why funds from the tax refund ended up in accounts in Europe (along with other money of dubious sources in Russia).

  • Wim

    I am amazed that Murray supports the Magnitsky Act. I see it as the destruction of the international order. Until now countries had sovereignty in their own territory. The Magnitsky Act establishes instead the international right of the strongest.

    • John2o2o

      I don’t think he has done his homework on this one Wim. I wonder if he has seen Andrei Nekrasov’s film. I don’t think anyone with an open mind could watch that and not be convinced that Browder was intentionally lying about Magnitsky in order to deflect attention away from his own misdeeds.

  • John2o2o

    There’s another aspect of this sort of thing that is often neglected. While it is not disputed that Magnitsky may not have received proper medical care in prison it is disputed that he was beaten by prison guards.

    Having seen Andrei Nekrasov’s excellent film I am convinced that Magnitsky was not beaten as claimed by Browder.

    So here are my questions:

    What would the Russian state gain by beating a prisoner?

    What would any state have to gain by it?

    If you are going to have a judicial system then you only compromise your system by treating prisoners with this level of disrespect. People are innocent before the law until proven guilty. So to that end Magnitsky’s guilt was not determined at the time of his death.

    From Wikipedia (generally in my opinion biased against Russia):

    “An official investigation was ordered in November 2009 by Russian president Dmitry Medvedev. Russian authorities had not concluded their own investigation as of December 2009, but 20 senior prison officials had already been fired as a result of the case. In December 2009, in two separate decrees, Medvedev fired Alexander Piskunov, deputy head of the Federal Penitentiary Service, and signed a law forbidding the jailing of individuals who are suspected of tax crimes.”

    Please remind me again of the purpose of the Magnitsky Acts?

    • Njegos

      Thank John2020 for your perseverance. Browder is a crook and a liar. The one thing his defenders have in common is that they take Browder’s word for everything. His bullshit has been sanctified by a media looking for any excuse to demonise Russia. They never ask any tough questions of Browder. He is invariably portrayed as a human rights hero when the evidence overwhelmingly contradicts his version of events.

      To anyone who thinks that Browder is a beacon of transparency and human rights justice then please answer the following questions:

      Why did his lawyers block the screening of Andrei Nekrasov’s documentary before the European parliament?

      Why did they pressure the Arte channel to drop the film (Arte commissioned the film in the first instance!)

      Why did they ask NBC to kill Ken Dilanian’s investigation of the Magnitsky in which he expressed skepticism about Browder’s version of events?

      Why did they ask Amazon to stop distributing Alex Krainer’s expose of Browder Lies?

      Why did Browder run away from a US court subpoena requiring him to testify in the Prevezon case?

      Why did Browder never mention Magnitsky’s ordeals to anyone including human rights organisarions until after Magnitsky had died?

      Why did Browder use a famous 1960’s photo image of a beaten up Freedom Rider from the American south (Jim Zwerg) in a powerpoint presentation attacking the Russian police persecution claiming it was a picture of a Hermitage lawyer?

      Is such behaviour consistent with the defense of truth, transparency and human rights?

  • TJ

    “The myth is that Magnitskiy was an honest rights campaigner and accountant”

    Actually Browder and the MSM has always asserted he was a lawyer when he was in fact an accountant, e.g.

    “Europe’s top human rights court rebuked Russia on Tuesday for multiple violations of the basic rights of lawyer Sergei Magnitsky”

    from this article on August 27, 2019 / 12:34 PM –

    https://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-russia-magnitsky/russia-flouted-dead-lawyer-magnitskys-rights-says-european-court-idUKKCN1VH18V

    • Njegos

      When your company is neck deep in tax fraud, it’s wiser to pretend that your tax accountants are fearless lawyers fighting corruption.

        • Njegos

          The predominant media Russophobia has created a climate of fear which facilitates the intimidation of skeptics. Browder and his lawyers have skillfully taken advantage of this. The media loves it of course because it re-inforces their narrative, ie. Russia is an evil place that eats whistleblowers for breakfast.

          The Magnitsky fairy tale is now a cornerstone of US and UK hostility towards Russia. Foreign policy has become Browderised.

    • Mark Chapman

      Ever wonder why that was? I would guess because conversations between a lawyer and his clients are protected and cannot be subpoenaed. Conversations between accountants and their clients have no such protection.

  • Njegos

    A correction Craig. Browder wasn’t looking for compensation for assets swindled. The Hermitage companies in question had no assets but were used to obtain fraudlent tax refunds from the Russian treasury. Browder himself admitted that Hermitage suffered no economic loss. This is an important point because it strengthens the bogus patriotic/anti-corruption credentials of Magnitsky, ie. this was about principle not financial self-interest.

    Browder, of course, remains determined to track the down the stolen money. Or so he says. How sincere that effort has been can been judged from his performace under oath in the Prevezon depositions. He was so keen to give his side of the story that he literally ran away from a subpoena. And with good reason. I do not exaggerate when I say that the despositions are the coup de grace to the Magnitsky Myth.

  • Rolan Le Gargéac

    Tatyana
    September 16, 2019 at 16:43

    🙂 yeah 🙂 I often feel like (c)Tucker and Dale vs Evil explaining to the police what have happened 🙂

    I loved T & D v E !! Horrendous & Hilarious ! Have you seen Lesbian Vampire Killers ? It’s in the same vein but english…

  • Trowbridge H. Ford

    The Sami are a nice exception.
    \
    They don’t give a damn about borders and their more powerful neighbors. They have their old ways, friends, and animals. Civilzation has passed them by, and if their neighbors get too pushy, they just move everything somewhere else instead of fighting

    I will join them if I am reincarnated.

  • Morag Branson

    I lived in Moscow in the early days of all this and it was obvious to me at the time that the west was just there to steal and get rich and to hell with the ordinary people.

    So many were making obcene amounts of money.
    So many were reduced to selling whatever they had to get by, even if they only had one shoe…

  • Alexei

    Magnitsky was never Browder partner or employee. He was not a lawyer. He was a tax partner setting offshore schemes for a Corporate Services firm in Moscow. The firm was Jamieson Firestone Duncan. All trades of this firm have been erased. The firm was American owned. It’s owner Firestone left Moscow under a cloud of scandal. The scandal had nothing to do with tax or business. It was an Epstein kind of scandal involving young boys. Browder could not have Firestone claim that Magnitsky was his partner. As he was. He then concocted the story of Magnitsky being a lawyer. For a while Firestone spear headed the video doc series funded by Browder from London. But then Browder stopped paying Firestone. Firestone still lives in London. Firestone was central to the tax evasion, tax fraud and offshore schemes of Browder.

    • Brett Harris

      Firestone was just a front man, the firm was owned by two Russians, and Jamie spent his time with the boys in Thailand. I’d like to know the real story of his “friend” Terry Duncan’s death at the Ostankino TV tower during the 1993 coup, the media reports reeked of bs.

  • Mark Chapman

    Now that the myth Magnitsky was an earnest young hotshot tax lawyer with a nose for state corruption has gone down for a dirtnap – at least in the alternative press, although the mainstream has too much invested in the nonsense being true to broadcast the truth – perhaps you will entertain at least a degree of skepticism about his alleged mistreatment in prison as well. Nobody is suggesting Russian prison is Camp Cupcake like celebrity Americans serve their time in, but there was also never any proof that Magnitsky was brutally beaten and tortured. I published this story back in 2011, from a guest writer who used exclusively Russian sources. I searched for years for confirmation that Magnitsky had booked air tickets to Kiev and was about to flee, as my colleague claimed, but could never find it. Now the ECHR has acknowledged it.

    https://marknesop.wordpress.com/2011/01/19/sergei-magnitsky-bill-browder-hermitage-capital-management-and-wondrous-metamorphoses/

    Perhaps there is truth to the rest of his story as well.

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