President Medvedev Fires Major General Anatoly Mikhalkin of the Moscow Interior Ministry

December 15, 2009


– Mikhalkin headed the Depart­ment that coor­di­nated the cam­paign against HSBC and Her­mitage Cap­i­tal and the per­se­cu­tion and ille­gal deten­tion of Sergei Magnitsky –

15 Decem­ber 2009 – Pres­i­dent Dmitry Medvedev today signed a decree dis­miss­ing Major Gen­eral Ana­toly Mikhalkin, Head of the Tax Crimes Depart­ment of the Moscow Branch of the Inte­rior Ministry.

In the sum­mer of 2007 Major Gen­eral Mikhalkin sent a num­ber of requests, pre­pared by his sub­or­di­nate, Lieu­tenant Colonel Artem Kuznetsov, to the Moscow branches of inter­na­tional banks seek­ing con­fi­den­tial infor­ma­tion about the hold­ing com­pa­nies of the Her­mitage Fund. One month later these invest­ment com­pa­nies were stolen by an orga­nized crim­i­nal group using the mate­ri­als seized by Kuznetsov in the June 2007 raids of Hermitage’s and its lawyers’ Moscow offices. In Decem­ber 2007, $230 mil­lion was ulti­mately stolen from the Russ­ian bud­get under the guise of refunds of sup­pos­edly “over­paid” taxes. This colos­sal tax refund – the largest in Russ­ian his­tory – was approved and paid out by Moscow Tax Inspec­torates Nos. 25 and 28 in a sin­gle day. Accord­ing to state­ments by tax inspec­torate employ­ees, they approved the tax rebate based on the results of a check con­ducted by the Moscow Inte­rior Min­istry into the valid­ity of the tax refund requests.

In June and Octo­ber 2008 Sergei Mag­nit­sky tes­ti­fied about the role of the Moscow Inte­rior Min­istry and in par­tic­u­lar Kuznetsov in the theft of the Her­mitage Fund com­pa­nies and sub­se­quent theft of $230 mil­lion from the state bud­get. One month later Mag­nit­sky was arrested by sub­or­di­nates of Kuznetsov on false pre­tenses. One month before his death, on 13 Octo­ber 2009, Sergei Mag­nit­sky again con­firmed his state­ment regard­ing Lieu­tenant Colonel Kuznetsov and testified:

Kuznetsov and other law enforce­ment offi­cers who entered into a con­spir­acy with him, could be com­plicit in my opin­ion in the theft of Rilend, Mahaon, and Par­fe­nion and in the sub­se­quent theft of 5.4 bil­lion rubles ($230 mil­lion) from the state bud­get as described above. They were extremely inter­ested in the sup­pres­sion of my activ­i­ties to assist my client in the inves­ti­ga­tion of the cir­cum­stances of the crimes against my client, and that was the rea­son for my unlaw­ful crim­i­nal per­se­cu­tion car­ried out by inves­ti­ga­tor Silchenko.”

Pres­i­dent Medvedev has taken an impor­tant step by going after the peo­ple who are directly respon­si­ble for the per­se­cu­tion of Sergei Mag­nit­sky and the loss of $230 mil­lion in state funds. How­ever, the loss of someone’s job can never be com­pared to the loss of an inno­cent man’s life. We are call­ing for all those indi­vid­u­als who were involved in Sergei Magnitsky’s ille­gal deten­tion and death – along with those involved in the $230 mil­lion theft he uncov­ered – to be brought to jus­tice,” said William Brow­der, CEO of Her­mitage Cap­i­tal, com­ment­ing on today’s fir­ing of Mikhalkin.

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2 Responses to “President Medvedev Fires Major General Anatoly Mikhalkin of the Moscow Interior Ministry”

  1. James on December 16th, 2009 02:37

    The dis­missal of the gen­eral looks more like a smoke screen. There is no short­age of hue and cry about Sergei’s death in the Russ­ian and inter­na­tional media. Sure his death as such is an enor­mous human­i­tar­ian tragedy. But at the same time it seems no one cares about the fact that he has died for a CAUSE. And the cause was sim­ply try­ing to bring to jus­tice the crim­i­nals whom he had caught RED HANDED on a major scam and theaft. Instead he was thrown to jail by those same crim­i­nals who are now qui­etly get­ting away with 5 bil­lion rou­bles stolen from the Russ­ian state bud­get. If the Russ­ian high­est state author­i­ties includ­ing the Pros­e­cu­tor Gen­eral, the Chair­man of the Accounts Cham­ber, the Inte­rior Min­is­ter and oth­ers were duly informed, why there was no any ade­quate reac­tion? And why the lead­ing Russ­ian law firms, busi­ness lead­ers, politi­cians, econ­o­mists as well as local media, asso­ci­a­tions and pub­lic at large all keep so dead silent on this par­tic­u­lar point…? For sure some­thing is ter­ri­bly wrong with Mother Russia!

  2. Curt Doolittle on December 17th, 2009 12:51

    Such a beau­ti­ful coun­try with won­der­ful peo­ple, all of whom des­per­ately want an end to cor­rup­tion, and a pow­er­ful and pop­u­lar leader, who should have him­self made Tzar, but who can­not fer­ret it out.

    Why is it pop­u­lar to pros­e­cute cor­rupt busi­ness peo­ple but the state appa­ra­tus pro­tects it’s criminals.

    As an exec­u­tive who does some small amount of off­shoring in Rus­sia, I find it exas­per­at­ing, that I can­not help cre­ate jobs there, sim­ply because the cor­rup­tion is so high that the mar­ket barely func­tions for any­thing more than vodka, hotels and cof­fee shops. Any­thing that can’t be paid for with pocket change is open to corruption.

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