Russia’s UK Ambassador Joins Cover-Up in Magnitsky Case

March 18, 2012

The Russian Ambassador to the UK, Alexander Yakovenko, issued a strange statement late on Friday denying that Russian authorities were prosecuting Sergei Magnitsky posthumously, in spite of the documentary evidence to the contrary.

In a post distributed via the Russian Embassy’s twitter account, the Ambassador said:
“Allegations of a posthumous prosecution of Sergey Magnitsky spread by the Hermitage Capital investment fund and some international organizations have no legal grounds.”
The latest Russian embassy’s statement is directly contradicted by a series of successive actions of the Russian authorities and official documents showing the Russian government’s clear intention to prosecute Sergei Magnitsky more than two years after he died.

1) On 10 February 2012, in a letter to Sergei Magnitsky’s mother, Major Smirnov of the Russian Interior Ministry said that the Interior Ministry found no grounds for his rehabilitation and that he will be tried in court:
“During preliminary investigation, no grounds in support of the rehabilitation of deceased S. Magnitsky have been established, and under these circumstances his case must go to trial on common terms.” (

2) On 24 February 2012, General Romanov, Deputy Chief of the Russian Interior Ministry’s Investigative Committee, specifically said in a letter to Magnitsky’s family that the authorities are prosecuting S. Magnitsky with the specific aim of the court establishing his guilt. In the letter denying the Magnitsky family’s complaint about the posthumous prosecution, General Romanov stated:
“The reopening of the preliminary investigation into S. Magnitsky has a direct aim to determine…all circumstances of the case in support of the accusation against S. Magnitsky and decide on that basis the matter about his guilt or innocence in the incriminated acts.” (

3) On 6 March 2012, Investigator Boris Kibis, of the Russian Interior Ministry, wrote to the Magnitsky’s mother that she will be treated as a defendant in the posthumous case against her son:
“You have been made a participant in the criminal case and now have the rights of a defendant.” (

The Russian embassy statement came in response to the widely publicized targeted Magnitsky sanctions legislation that was debated in the British parliament two weeks ago.
A Hermitage Capital representative said:
“The Russian Ambassador has effectively joined in on the cover up of some very grave crimes.”
Since the posthumous proceeding against Sergei Magnitsky was opened last July, his family has filed over 20 complaints with the Moscow courts against that prosecution with the Russian General Prosecutor’s Office and Interior Ministry. All of their complaints have been rejected.

See the statement by the Russian embassy on Magnitsky case:


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