Following Putin’s Public Attack on Magnitsky’s Colleagues, Russian Authorities Have Opened a New Criminal Case and Threaten Use of “Special Units” against HSBC Bank in Moscow

February 15, 2013

The Russian Interior Ministry has opened a new criminal case against colleagues of the late Sergei Magnitsky, who was killed in Russian police custody in 2009. Details of the new criminal case are not yet known other than that it alleges ‘fraudulent actions’.

The new case was opened on January 24, 2013 following public statements by Russian President Vladimir Putin at a December 2012 press conference that he needed to “dig deeper” into the Magnitsky case.
Under this new criminal case, the Russian Interior Ministry is now pressuring HSBC Bank Moscow to provide wide-ranging financial and banking information concerning the companies of the Hermitage Fund and its advisers dating all the way back to 1996.

The Russian Interior Ministry has threatened to use “special forces” to obtain the documents if HSBC doesn’t cooperate.
“Otherwise, the documents which have the force of evidence under the criminal case and are with OOO HSBC Bank RR can be seized by force during a seizure or search, including with the prarticipation of employees of special units,” said the request sanctioned by major G.Sungurov, head of 4th section within the Interior Ministry’s Investigations Department.

Under the Russian law, banking information can be provided to the police only if it concerns specific acts and circumstances of the investigation. The Interior Ministry has failed to identify any circumstances connecting the companies in question to their request, yet they demanded that banking information on transactions of “each day of operations” for 8 different companies be provided in Russia.


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