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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