US Sanctions Four New Russian Officials on Magnitsky List Including Russian Deputy General Prosecutor Victor Grin

December 30, 2014

Today the US Government released four new names of Russian government officials added to the U.S. Magnitsky sanctions list, including Russia’s Deputy General Prosecutor Victor Grin.

Mr Grin is the highest-ranking member of the Putin regime to be sanctioned to date under the Sergei Magnitsky Rule of Law Accountability Act.

“Victor Grin is surely the most odious character of all Russian officials involved in the Magnitsky case, and it is crucial that he is being publicly sanctioned,” said a Magnitsky Justice Сampaign representative.

The announcement came shortly after the second of anniversary of the passage of the Magnitsky Act and following the fifth anniversary of Sergei Magnitsky’s murder in Russian police custody.

Two of the four sanctioned Russian officials played a specific role in the Magnitsky case, and the other two are officials with responsibility in the Chechnya region.

The most high profile new addition to the sanctions list is Victor Grin, Russia’s Deputy General Prosecutor, who was responsible for the cover-up of the torture and killing of Sergei Magnitsky in police custody, the cover-up of the theft of $230 million from the state that Magnitsky had exposed. He was also responsible for the posthumous prosecution of Sergei Magnitsky three years after his death.

Major Andrei Strizhov, an investigator of the Russian Investigative Committee, was also added to the Magnitsky list. Last year, Strizhov was responsible for closing the investigation into Sergei Magnitsky’s death with a finding of “no signs of a crime.” This finding came in spite of two independent reports from Russia and two from abroad that found that Magnitsky was subjected to torture, beaten with rubber batons and other abuses.

The U.S. Magnitsky sanctions list now contains 34 names, including 28 who played a role in the Magnitsky case.

It is important we don’t  forget that the Magnitsky family has submitted evidence of more than 280 individuals who should be subjected to sanctions under the Magnitsky Act. There is a lot more work to be done for the US Government to fulfill its obligations under the Magnitsky Act,” said a Magnitsky Justice Сampaign representative.

 The publication of the list has coincided with the publication of the annual report by the U.S. State Department on the implementation of the Magnitsky law, in which the State Department has explained the criteria involved:

“The criteria include persons involved in the criminal conspiracy uncovered by Sergei Magnitsky, a Russian lawyer who died of medical neglect on November 16, 2009, after a year in pre-trial detention in a Moscow prison, after he uncovered a large tax fraud scheme perpetrated by Russian officials.”

The Magnitsky Law was passed in December 2012. The first Magnitsky sanctions list was published by the U.S. Government in April 2013. The additions of names to the Magnitsky Sanctions List generally happens in conjunction with the publication of the U.S. State Department report on the implementation of the Magnitsky Law or in reaction to a “congressional trigger” in which chairman and ranking members of certain congressional committees can request for names to be added to the list.

Background Information on Deputy General Prosecutor Victor Grin:

 Victor Grin serves as Russia’s Deputy General Prosecutor. He oversaw a probe into the complaint filed by the Hermitage Fund’s lawyers reporting abuse of office by Russian Interior Ministry officials three weeks before the $230 million was stolen which led to Magnitsky’s death. In spite of receiving the report, Grin failed to conduct any investigation and three weeks later, a group of Russian officials and criminals stole $230 million from the Russian treasury.

On 10 April 2009, Grin signed an indictment, which exonerated all Russian Interior Ministry and tax officials that Sergei Magnitsky had exposed in the $230 million theft.

On 6 November 2009, ten days before Sergei Magnitsky’s death in custody, prosecutor Grin was assigned to oversee the probe into the complaint about Magnitsky’s ill-treatment and denial of medical care in custody filed by Magnitsky’s colleague Jamison Firestone. Grin failed to conduct any such probe, and ten days later Sergei Magnitsky was murdered in custody.

After Sergei Magnitsky’s death, Grin was put in charge of supervising the investigation into Sergei Magnitsky’s death. In this capacity, he issued a report finding no violations in the actions of Russian Interior Ministry officials who arrested and prosecuted Magnitsky, which was used to justify the closure of the death case investigation.

Two and half years after Magnitsky’s death, in retaliation to calls from the Magnitsky’s family for justice, Grin personally initiated two posthumous cases against Sergei Magnitsky in Russia, including one which ended with the first-ever posthumous trial in Russian history last July, and another one which is still ongoing.

For further materials on Russian Deputy General Prosecutor Victor Grin go to “Russian Untouchables. Justice for Sergei Magnitsky” website and visit page “Magnitsky Case Cover up Revealed in Persons and Documents”.

Background Information on Investigator Andrei Strizhov:

The second Russian official added to the Magnitsky Sanctions List today is Major Andrei Strizhov. Strizhov is an investigator working in Russian Investigative Committee who was responsible for closing the investigation into Magnitsky’s death. In his report, he found “no crime.” He also has refused requests from the Magnitsky family to allow them to conduct independent medical examination of Magnitsky’s tissue archive or for their lawyer to question FSB and Interior Ministry officials responsible for his detention.


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