January 28, 2014

The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, which unites 47 countries, has called today for the introduction of U.S.-like Magnitsky sanctions by Council of Europe member states if Russian authorities fail within the reasonable timeframe to adhere to the PACE Resolution. The Resolution calls on Russia to end impunity of Russian officials by bringing to account those responsible for Magnitsky’s death, stopping his posthumous prosecution and the pressure on his family, and closing criminal cases against other Hermitage Fund’s lawyers who reported the $230 million theft and defended the Fund against the fraud.
The Resolution entitled “Refusing Impunity for the Killers of Sergei Magnitsky” was passed by 81% of PACE delegates (151 deputies – in favor, 25 – against, 10 – abstention) (
The PACE also approved (151 – in favor, 29 – against, 8 – abstention) the Recommendation to the Council of Minister to “ensure that the Russian Federation …holds to account the perpetrators and beneficiaries both of the crime committed against Sergey Magnitsky and that denounced by him.”
The PACE report highlights that Russian authorities are engaged in a massive cover-up at all levels in this case:
“We are in the presence of a massive cover-up involving senior officials of the competent [Russian] ministries, the Prosecutor General’s Office, the Investigative Committee and even certain courts finds itself further consolidated,” says Rapporteur Andreas Gross, MP in his report (
The voting was preceded by speeches from delegates from different countries. The Russian delegates tried to deflect blame by accusing William Browder, the head of the Magnitsky Justice Campaign, of being responsible for Magnitsky’s arrest and death.
Other PACE delegates from Europe stressed that this case is symbolic of abuse and corruption. They said it was shameful that Russian authorities have not investigated officials denounced by Magnitsky as complicit in the $230 million theft, and those responsible for his killing in custody.
The addendum to the Report on the impunity in Magnitsky case by Rapporteur Gross says that Russian authorities not only failed to adhere to the recommendations made in the main report, to bring to account those involved in the $230 million theft denounced by Magnitsky, but have instead exonerated all officials in spite of evidence of their enrichment:
“The Russian authorities have not made any progress in investigating the matters highlighted in the main report and in the draft resolution adopted by the Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights on 4 September 2013. On the contrary, one of the main suspects – Ms Stepanova – has recently been exonerated by the Investigative Committee, without reference to the suspicious circumstances surrounding the disbursement in record time of a record amount of tax refunds into freshly opened bank accounts of criminals known as such by the authorities, with a small and ill-famed bank that closed soon after the receipt of the funds and “lost” all records,” says the Addendum to Report “Refusing Impunity for the Killers of Sergei Magnitsky”.

Report “Refusing Impunity for the Killers of Sergei Magnitsky”:


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