Hermitage Capital Publishes Explosive 75-Page Report Showing How Sergei Magnitsky Was Murdered in Russian Custody and the Subsequent Government Cover-Up

November 28, 2011

Today, Her­mitage Cap­i­tal released a 75-page report with new doc­u­men­tary evi­dence show­ing how Sergei Mag­nit­sky was mur­dered in Russ­ian police cus­tody and how the Russ­ian gov­ern­ment has con­sis­tently lied in pub­lic about Sergei Magnitsky’s false arrest, tor­ture and death to cover up the crim­i­nal lia­bil­ity of the Russ­ian offi­cials involved.

The report enti­tled “The Tor­ture and Mur­der of Sergei Mag­nit­sky and the Cover Up by the Russ­ian Gov­ern­ment” is the result of 1000 man hours of work con­ducted by a team of pro-bono lawyers, foren­sic inves­ti­ga­tors and Sergei Magnitsky’s col­leagues, who have reviewed Russ­ian court fil­ings, crim­i­nal case mate­ri­als and pub­lic state­ments by gov­ern­ment offi­cials in the Mag­nit­sky case. The report shows in more than 100 doc­u­ments, pho­tographs and media links how Russ­ian gov­ern­ment offi­cials sys­tem­at­i­cally tor­tured Sergei Mag­nit­sky in cus­tody, and how every sin­gle depart­ment of the Russ­ian law enforce­ment sys­tem has been involved in the cover-up of the crimes.

This report shows irrefutable doc­u­men­tary evi­dence of the roles of spe­cific high level offi­cials in the false arrest, tor­ture and mur­der of Sergei Mag­nit­sky and the cover-up that fol­lowed. This is a unique record of the injus­tice that was done to Sergei Mag­nit­sky, and it also lays bare the inner work­ings of the cor­rup­tion inside the Russ­ian crim­i­nal jus­tice sys­tem,” said a Her­mitage Cap­i­tal spokesman.

The report starts out by show­ing, for the first time, graphic and dis­turb­ing images of the deep lac­er­a­tions and bruises on Sergei Magnitsky’s body after he was beaten by eight riot guards with rub­ber batons one hour before he was found dead on the floor of an iso­la­tion cell at Matrosskaya pre-trial deten­tion cen­ter. It shows an inter­nal report from Matrosskaya Tishina, which has never been seen before, where its head, Fikhret Tagiev autho­rized the use of rub­ber batons in those fatal beat­ings and then ordered the clo­sure of any fur­ther probe eight days after Sergei Mag­nit­sky died.

The report then presents another key doc­u­ment, which has never been seen before, show­ing how an offi­cial from the Pre­o­brazhen­sky office of the Russ­ian State Inves­tiga­tive Com­mit­tee reviewed the evi­dence of Sergei Magnitky’s death three days after he died and wrote a rec­om­men­da­tion to his supe­ri­ors that a mur­der inves­ti­ga­tion should be opened. This rec­om­men­da­tion was never acted upon and con­cealed until it came to light in this review of case files recently.

The Mag­nit­sky report reveals evi­dence pro­vided by civil­ian doc­tors show­ing how deten­tion cen­ter offi­cials fal­si­fied the time, place and other cir­cum­stances of Magnitsky’s death in their care. Deten­tion cen­ter offi­cials stated that Mag­nit­sky was deliv­ered to a prison hos­pi­tal at Matrosskaya Tishina in Moscow, where he was exam­ined by med­ical per­son­nel, and fell sud­denly ill and died at 9:50 pm on a hos­pi­tal bed after resus­ci­ta­tion attempts failed. How­ever, tes­ti­mony from the civil­ian doc­tor present at the time of Magnitsky’s death indi­cate that he did not have an oppor­tu­nity to exam­ine Mag­nit­sky because he found Magnitsky’s dead body on the floor of an iso­la­tion cell before 9 pm.

The Mag­nit­sky report con­tains links to seven for­mal requests for med­ical atten­tion (out of 20 in total) that Sergei Mag­nit­sky filed to all branches of the Russ­ian state, includ­ing the Russ­ian Inte­rior Min­istry, Gen­eral Prosecutor’s Office, Fed­eral Pen­i­ten­tiary Ser­vice, and the Moscow Court. These requests were filed after he fell ill, lost twenty kilos and was diag­nosed with Pan­cre­ati­tis, Gall­stones and Cholecystitus.

The report then pro­vides links to the six let­ters from each branch of the Russ­ian law enforce­ment appa­ra­tus sys­tem­at­i­cally refus­ing his increas­ingly des­per­ate pleas for med­ical atten­tion. These refusals come from:

- Judge Alexei Krivoruchko of the Moscow Tver­skoi Court on 14 Sep­tem­ber 2009;
 – Judge Elena Stashina of the Moscow Tver­skoi court on 12 Novem­ber 2009;
 – Pros­e­cu­tor Andrei Peche­gin, of the Russ­ian Gen­eral Prosecutor’s office on 9 Octo­ber 2009;
 – Major Oleg Silchenko of the Russ­ian Fed­eral Inte­rior Min­istry on 2 Sep­tem­ber 2009;
 – Lieu­tenant Colonel Dmitri Kom­nov Head of Butryka Pre-Trial Deten­tion Cen­ter on 7 Octo­ber 2009;
 – Gen­eral Vladimir Davy­dov, Head of Moscow Pen­i­ten­tiary Ser­vice on 7 Octo­ber 2009.

The report then high­lights the con­tra­dic­tion between the many requests and denials of med­ical atten­tion and the pub­lic state­ments made by Russ­ian offi­cials about their non-existence. Among senior Russ­ian gov­ern­ment offi­cials exposed in the report as hav­ing pub­licly lied about Magnitsky’s med­ical con­di­tions in cus­tody were:

- Irina Duduk­ina, the offi­cial spokes­woman for the Inte­rior Ministry’s Inves­tiga­tive Com­mit­tee, who said on 17 Novem­ber 2010 that “there has not been a sin­gle com­plaint from Mag­nit­sky about his health in the crim­i­nal case file.” http://www.interfax.ru/society/txt.asp?id=110496

- Alexei Anichin, the Deputy Russ­ian Inte­rior Min­is­ter, who said on 23 Decem­ber 2009 that “Out of 111 com­plaints from pre-trial deten­tion reviewed by the Inte­rior Min­istry, not a sin­gle com­plaint con­tained any­thing to do with his health or con­di­tions of his deten­tion” http://www.infox.ru/accident/crime/2009/12/23/Dyelo_Magnitskogo_za.phtml

- Oleg Logunov, Chief of Legal Depart­ment of the Gen­eral Prosecutor’s Office, who said on 7 June 2010 that “for the whole period of his deten­tion, the inves­ti­ga­tion did not receive a sin­gle com­pli­ant about his health” http://www.polit.ru/news/2010/06/08/logunov/

- Olga Egorova, Head of the Moscow City Court, who said on 14 Sep­tem­ber 2010 that “Mag­nit­sky did not request to be released due to his health. The judges prob­a­bly did not know about his health” http://www.echo.msk.ru/news/710430-echo.html

- Kon­stan­tin Kosachev, Head of the For­eign Affairs Com­mit­tee of the Russ­ian Par­lia­ment, who said on 18 May 2010 that “Mag­nit­sky in many of his peti­tions … to the inves­ti­ga­tors com­plained about every­thing, but never about his ill­ness and non-receipt of med­ical care” http://echo.msk.ru/blog/kosachev/680621-echo/

- Yuri Kalinin, for­mer head of the Russ­ian Pen­i­ten­tiary Ser­vice and cur­rently a mem­ber of the Russ­ian Par­lia­ment who said on 4 April 2011 that “The death of Mag­nit­sky was an acci­dent that was hard to fore­see. He received med­ical care for his diag­nosed ill­ness” http://www.vz.ru/politics/2011/4/4/480494.html

- Alexan­der Bas­trykin, Head of the Russ­ian State Inves­tiga­tive Com­mit­tee who said on 7 Sep­tem­ber 2010 “There is no ground to think that his death was con­nected to actions of offi­cials who pros­e­cuted him. There is no objec­tive infor­ma­tion show­ing that he was pros­e­cuted ille­gally or that phys­i­cal and psy­cho­log­i­cal pres­sure was applied to him” http://www.rg.ru/2010/09/07/skp.html

Most shock­ingly, this report proves that nearly every sin­gle high level Russ­ian offi­cial in the law enforce­ment sys­tem pub­licly lied to cover up the fact that he was sys­tem­at­i­cally denied med­ical care for a life threat­en­ing ill­ness,” said a Her­mitage Cap­i­tal spokesman.

The report dis­pels any myths that Mag­nit­sky did not com­plain about his med­ical con­di­tion or that he com­plained to the wrong state author­i­ties or that the author­i­ties did not have the knowl­edge of his diag­noses of pan­cre­ati­tis and gall­stones. The report shows that all state bod­ies received his com­plaints and flatly refused them,” added the Her­mitage Cap­i­tal representative.

The report con­cludes that the Russ­ian gov­ern­ment has failed to inves­ti­gate Magnitsky’s tor­ture and mur­der and the cor­rup­tion he had uncov­ered. It fur­ther shows that the Russ­ian inves­ti­ga­tion is con­ducted and super­vised by the very same offi­cials who have been impli­cated in the crimes and there­fore does not meet any stan­dard of inde­pen­dence and impartiality.

All peti­tions from Magnitsky’s fam­ily filed with the Russ­ian author­i­ties seek­ing to open a tor­ture and mur­der probe were rejected, most recently in Sep­tem­ber 2011. Requests from Magnitsky”s fam­ily for an inde­pen­dent med­ical exper­tise have also been repeat­edly rejected by Russ­ian author­i­ties and courts, most recently in Octo­ber 2011.

The Russ­ian Gen­eral Prosecutor’s Office, the same agency which was respon­si­ble for a num­ber of the vio­la­tions of Magnitsky’s rights in cus­tody, was ordered by Pres­i­dent Medvedev to over­see the probe into the Mag­nit­sky case after his death. As a result of this probe, the Russ­ian Inte­rior Min­istry offi­cials who were involved in the $230 mil­lion cor­rup­tion uncov­ered by Mag­nit­sky and his sub­se­quent arrest and per­se­cu­tion were absolved from any wrong-doing, pro­moted and dec­o­rated with state hon­ors, with the most recent con­clu­sions issued in Novem­ber 2011.

The offi­cial Russ­ian inves­ti­ga­tion into Magnitsky’s death has been extended ten times, as a result of which two med­ical offi­cials were accused in Octo­ber 2011 of fail­ing to diag­nose “dia­betes and hepati­tis”, two dis­eases which Mag­nit­sky never had. The author­i­ties refused Magnitsky’s fam­ily access to his per­sonal and med­ical records by deny­ing over 30 requests for infor­ma­tion. In a final devel­op­ment, the Russ­ian Prosecutor’s Office re-opened a crim­i­nal case against Sergei Mag­nit­sky twenty months after he died, and assigned to the case the same Inte­rior Min­istry offi­cials who arrested and tor­tured him to death. Requests from the fam­ily to cease this unprece­dented mis­use of the jus­tice sys­tem have been denied by pros­e­cu­to­r­ial author­i­ties and Russ­ian courts.

The 75-page Mag­nit­sky report has already been sub­mit­ted to the US Con­gress, the Cana­dian Par­lia­ment. five EU Par­lia­ments, and the Russ­ian Human Rights Coun­cil. It is now being pub­licly released more broadly as part of an on-going cam­paign to obtain visa sanc­tions and asset freezes all over the world for all the offi­cials involved in the Magnitsky’s false arrest, tor­ture and death and the sub­se­quent cover-up.

Sergei Mag­nit­sky, was a 37-year old lawyer who served as an out­side coun­sel to the Her­mitage Fund when he uncov­ered the largest-known tax refund fraud in Russ­ian his­tory per­pe­trated by Russ­ian offi­cials. He tes­ti­fied about it and was arrested on trumped-up charges by the same offi­cials, tor­tured for 358 days and mur­dered on 16 Novem­ber 2009 in Russ­ian police cus­tody. None of the offi­cials Mag­nit­sky reported for their role in the embez­zle­ment of $230 mil­lion of pub­lic funds and who were involved in his false arrest, tor­ture and mur­der have been pros­e­cuted for these crimes. After two years of inves­ti­ga­tion, two med­ical offi­cials were charged with unin­ten­tional neg­li­gence in pro­ceed­ings which deprived the Mag­nit­sky fam­ily and their coun­sel from access to most of his per­sonal records and case files.

Last April, the US Helsinki Com­mis­sion has pub­lished a list of 60 Russ­ian offi­cials involved in the $230 mil­lion cor­rup­tion uncov­ered by Mag­nit­sky and his sub­se­quent arrest, tor­ture and death. Last Novem­ber, Sergei Mag­nit­sky was posthu­mously awarded the Integrity Award by Trans­parency Inter­na­tional for his per­sonal stance against the Russ­ian cor­rup­tion. This Octo­ber, law­mak­ers from 29 coun­tries in Europe signed a Mag­nit­sky Dec­la­ra­tion call­ing upon Rus­sia to imme­di­ately pros­e­cute killers of Sergei Magnitsky.

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