Russian General Prosecutor Rejects Request from Magnitsky Family to Cease His Prosecution Two Years After His Death

November 22, 2011

he Russian General Prosecutor’s Office has refused to stop the prosecution of Sergei Magnitsky two years after his death. In addition, the Russian authorities have refused to recuse from the current criminal investigation the Interior Ministry officers who were responsible for his torture and death in custody. This information was revealed in a letter from 8 November 2011 signed by V. Ignashin, deputy chief of General Prosecutor’s Office Division for Particularly Important Cases, to Magnitsky’s family lawyer, Nikolai Gorokhov.

“Your petition containing reasons to cease the criminal prosecution of Magnitsky’s relatives and stating no confidence to investigators on the criminal case has been considered… As part of the probe, we found no circumstances that exclude the participation of the investigators in this criminal proceeding…Given this, there are no lawful reasons to undertake measures of prosecutorial reaction to recuse the investigation team from the case,” said V. Ignashin in his formal reply.

The Russian President’s Human Rights Council has concluded that Interior Ministry officers prosecuting Sergei Magnitsky were in gross conflict of interest because of the Magnitsky’s testimony prior to his arrest about their complicity in the $230 million theft. Read more

Генеральная прокуратура отказала в отводе следователей МВД по делу Сергея Магнитского и начала преследование его родственников

November 22, 2011

Генеральная прокуратура РФ отказалась прекратить преследование Сергея Магнитского после его смерти, а также дать отвод следователям МВД, преследовавшим его при жизни. Более того, в ходе продолжающегося таким образом расследования организовано преследование родственников Сергея. Об этом свидетельствует сообщение заместителя начальника управления по надзору за расследованием особо важных дел Генеральной прокуратуры В.В. Игнашина, уведомившего 8 ноября 2011 г Николая Горохова, адвоката мамы Сергея Магнитского, об отказе в его жалобе.

«Ваше обращение с доводами о прекращении уголовного преследования родственников Магнитского С.Л. и о недоверии к следователям по уголовному делу рассмотрено…В ходе проверки не установлено обстоятельств, исключающих участие следователей в производстве по уголовному делу…При таких обстоятельствах отсутствуют законные основания для принятия мер прокурорского реагирования об отводе следственной группы», – отвечает В.В. Игнашин. Read more

New Information Emerges on Russian General Shelepanov Who US Senators Requested to Ban From Entering the US Last Week For His Role in the Magnitsky Case

November 21, 2011

New information has emerged from the Sergei Magnitsky criminal case file showing that General Nikolai Shelepanov of the Russian Interior Ministry was personally responsible for the denial of family visits to Sergei Magnitsky in custody. Earlier this month, US Senators Cardin and Wicker questioned General Shelepanov’s eligibility to enter the United States over his role in the Magnitsky case.

Vedomosti, the Russian newspaper, published previously unknown requests written by Sergei Magnitsky seeking permission for family visits and the official response signed by General Shelepanov denying Magnitsky’s request

General Shelepanov was due to attend meetings in Washington last week on the invitation from the US Department of Justice, but stated he was abandoning his plans amid the scandal over his US visa due to his “work load.”

The new evidence shows that General Shelepanov in his capacity as the Deputy Chief of the Interior Ministry’s Investigative Department personally refused Sergei Magnitsky’s petitions for family visits. General Shelepanov also sanctioned refusals for family visits issued by his subordinate, Interior Ministry Investigator Oleg Silchenko.

General Nikolai Shelepanov stated in an official response signed on 10 July 2009:

“Hereby I order to deny the complaint by S.L. Magnitsky requesting… to issue a written consent for a visit with his mother, N.N. Magnitskaya”

This response was written in the eighth month of Sergei Magnitsky’s detention. Up until that point, the investigators had denied Sergei Magnitsky all contact with his family.

In an interview with the Voice of America on 10 November 2011, General Shelepanov tried to downplay his role in the Magnitsky’s torture, saying:

“This is a normal criminal case that is being investigated here, in Russia.”

In Magnitsky’s complaint filed to the Deputy Interior Minister Alexei Anichin, he said that investigators arbitrarily denied his right for family visits:

“Since November 2008 I have been kept in custody…During all this time I have not been allowed a single visit with any of my relatives. …As a sole reason to deny me family visits, it has been put to me that “the investigators deem it inexpedient”,” wrote Sergei Magnitsy in his complaint on 24 June 2009 (

Magnitsky’s requests for visits with his wife, mother, and children were denied by Investigator in charge of his detention, Major Oleg Silchenko during a year in pre-trial detention. The new evidence from the Magnitsky case file now makes it clear that these refusals were sanctioned by General Nikolai Shelepanov.

In his 10 July 2009 Decree, General Shelepanov wrote to Sergei Magnitsky:

“On 15 June 2009, a petition was received in the Interior Ministry’s Investigative Department from defendant S.L. Magnitsky that was dated 3 June 2009 requesting a permission for a visit with his mother… The decree to fully deny this petition issued by senior investigator of especially important cases O.F. Silchenko is lawful and justified because it meets the requirements of the law set out for its form and contents.”

The actions of Silchenko, Anichin and Shelapanov formally contradict the Russian Law on Detention, which sets out rights for family visits. According to the law, each detainee is entitled to two family visits per month, each lasting up to three hours. According to Article 18 of the Law on Detention, an investigator must issue a consent to each visit.

In his complaint of the arbitrary deprivation of family visits by the Interior Ministry, Sergei Magnitsky said:

“The law does not allow to refuse family visits on arbitrary and unreasoned grounds… The failure by the investigator to specify the ground for these refusals…shows that the investigator thinks that he is entitled to act arbitrarily and in abuse of authority when deciding whether to permit me a family visit or not. Such an abusive restriction of my constitutional right is unacceptable in a law-based state …and is a form of treatment degrading my human dignity, because it causes moral pains to me and my family, pains that are not justified by the goals set out by the Constitution (p.3 Article 55 of the Russian Constitution).”

General Shelepanov’s name and his role in the Magnitsky case first became known last week following a request by U.S. Senators Wicker and Cardin to the U.S. Secretary of State to check his eligibility to enter the US

General Shelepanov was not previously listed on the US Helsinki Commission’s list of 60 Russian officials to be banned entry into the United States.

Sergei Magnitsky was kept in custody by the same Russian Interior Ministry officers he had testified against for their role in the theft of his client’s companies and $230 million from the Russian treasury, the largest single embezzlement of public funds in Russian history. Sergei Magnitsky was murdered in Russian government custody on 16 November 2009.

A formal petition by Sergei Magnitsky’s mother to open a torture and murder investigation against high-ranking Russian officials and 11 judges filed in September with the Russian Investigative Committee has been denied.

Генерал МВД Шелепанов санкционировал отказы Сергею Магнитскому в свиданиях с семьей

November 21, 2011

Генерал МВД, заместитель начальника Следственного департамента МВД РФ Николай Шелепанов несет ответственность за отказы юристу Сергею Магнитскому в свиданиях с семьей. Об этом стало известно из опубликованного на сайте газеты «Ведомости» постановления за подписью Шелепанова, отказавшего в жалобе Сергея Магнитского на непредоставление ему свиданий с родными (

Ранее генерал Шелепанов фактически отрицал свою роль в незаконном преследовании Сергея Магнитского.

«Это нормальное уголовное дело, которое расследуется у нас в России», – заявлял генерал Шелепанов в интервью радиостанции «Голос Америки» неделю назад. Read more

Evidence of the Russian Government’s Cover up of Lawyer’s Torture and Murder Is Presented in the British House of Commons

November 18, 2011

Today, new evidence of the Russian government’s cover up of the torture and murder in Russian police custody of Sergei Magnitsky was presented to the British House of Commons. Marking the second anniversary of his death, William Browder, CEO of Hermitage Capital Management, spoke in front of members of Parliament, researchers and academics in the House of Commons in London.

Commenting on the case, Gisela Stuart, MP stated, “The Magnitsky case is a terrible indictment of Russia’s justice system, and his death as well as the cover up that followed are completely unacceptable. This must be reflected in the relationship between our countries, at the very least by excluding those evidently responsible but yet not held to account from entering the United Kingdom.”

In a shocking account based on official records, Mr Browder presented a series of Russian government documents which prove the complicity of Russian law enforcement officials, prosecutors, judges and jail officials in the torture and death of Sergei Masgnitsky and the concealment of the crime afterwards. Responsibility for the far-reaching concealment of Magnitsky’s false arrest, torture and murder, as well as the $230 million theft he uncovered, stretches across all levels of Russian law enforcement bureaucracy and the Russian judiciary.

In May, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev assigned Russian General Prosecutor Yuri Chaika to “strengthen oversight” over the Magnitsky case. Mr Chaika is the same man who Magnitsky, as described in his complaints, held personally responsible for his ill-treatment and the violations of his rights while in custody.

Since then, the Russian authorities opened a posthumous prosecution of Mr Magnitsky under the same fabricated case under which he was arrested. In addition, in what are transparent acts of harassment and intimidation that have been condemned by Russian human rights activists, these same authorities have summoned Magnitsky’s relatives for questioning. The Russian investigative authorities have refused to open an investigation into Magnitsky’s torture and murder, and they have instead charged two medical officials with unintentional “negligence.”

Sergei Magnitsky, a 37-year old anti-corruption lawyer and outside counsel for the Hermitage Fund, was tortured to death in Russian Interior Ministry custody after he had testified about the involvement of Interior Ministry officials in the theft of $230 million from the Russian Treasury.

The Russian officials who were responsible for his unjust arrest, torture and murder have been absolved from any responsibility, decorated with state honours, and promoted.

Shocked by the impunity of Russian officials in this high-profile case of human rights abuse, lawmakers in the US, Canada and numerous European nations are introducing visa and economic sanctions against the officials behind these crimes as well as the resulting cover up. Magnitsky-related sanctions legislation is currently pending in front of the US Congress and the Canadian Parliament. In addition, the US State Department has independently blocked US visas for those Russian officials associated with Magnitsky’s death.

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