Prosecutor Chaika’s Role in Magnitsky Case Explains His Unhinged Attack on Bill Browder in Response to Corruption Expose Produced by Navalny

December 18, 2015

Prosecutor Chaika’s Role in Magnitsky Case Explains His Unhinged Attack on Bill Browder in Response to Corruption Expose Produced by Navalny

Yuri Chaika


18 December 2015 – Russian General Prosecutor Yuri Chaika played a significant  role in the ill-treatment and death in custody of Sergei Magnitsky and the subsequent cover up in his case. Chaika’s recent emotional attack on Bill Browder, the head of Magnitsky Justice Campaign, can be explained by his complicity in the Magnitsky case and the pressure it has put on him internationally.


It is no coincidence that in response to allegations of brazen abuse by his sons and senior prosecutors made in Alexei Navalny’s video earlier this month, General Prosecutor Chaika decided to unleash his frustration on Magnitsky justice campaigners. This is because of Chaika’s personal role in the Magnitsky case and its subsequent cover up,” said Bill Browder, head of the Magnitsky Justice Campaign, and author of ‘Red Notice’.


The chronology of Chaika’s role in the Magnitsky case is summarized below:


1) On December 3rd 2007, the Hermitage Fund wrote a criminal complaint to Prosecutor Chaikabased on Sergei Magnitsky’s investigation about the theft of Hermitage Fund’s companies and the creation of $1 billion of fake liabilities which were executed with documents seized by the police. This was three weeks before $230 million were stolen from the Russian budget. Chaika assigned the crime report to his deputy Victor Grin, who took no action. Had Chaika and Grin acted, they would have prevented the theft of $230 million from the Russian people.


2) On July 23rd 2008, the Hermitage Fund filed a second criminal complaintto Prosecutor Chaika prepared based on Sergei Magnitsky’s investigation describing the discovery that the theft of the Hermitage Fund’s companies was perpetrated in order to steal $230 million of taxes paid by Hermitage Fund’s companies to the Russian Government. Prosecutor Chaika became personally involved in overseeing the investigation, with his senior aid prosecutor Bumazhkin responding on 18 August 2008 that the investigation was under the control of the General Prosecutor’s Office and had exonerated the low-level perpetrators for the lack of crime in their actions. Chaika’s office later also exonerated all tax officials who approved the largest tax refund in Russian history in one day saying they were ‘tricked and deceived.’


3) On November 24th 2008, Hermitage’s lawyer Sergei Magnitsky was arrested by the same police officials who were implicated in his testimony and the crime report Hermitage submitted to Chaika that summer. He was subsequently tortured in prison to get him to retract his testimony.


4) On June 8th 2009, the International Bar Association wrote to Prosecutor Chaika seeking his intervention in the case of unlawful arrest of Sergei Magnitsky. A similar letter of intervention was addressed to Chaika on 24 July 2009 by the English Law Society. In September 2009, Chaika’s office responded that there were “no violations in Sergei Magnitsky’s case and no reasons to intervene.”


5) On August 17th 2009, Sergei Magnitsky filed a complaint against Prosecutor Chaikaand held him personally responsible for the violation of his human rights in detention by Chaika’s subordinates (prosecutors Burov and Pechegin) who by law were mandated to intervene.


6) On September 11th 2009, Sergei Magnitsky’s lawyers wrote to Prosecutor Chaika about the pressure being applied to Sergei Magnitsky to force him to give false testimony and the withholding of medical care. Chaika’s office replied in October 2009 stating that ‘no physical or psychological pressure was exerted on defendant  S.L.Magnitsky…There are no grounds to take measures of prosecutorial response.”


7) On November 16th 2009, after suffering from months of torture and neglect, Sergei Magnitsky died after a beating with rubber batons by guards.


8) In July 2010, Prosecutor Chaika commented on Magnitsky case not finding any responsibility of the General Prosecutor’s office, only of prison personnel.


9) In May 2011, Chaika’s senior subordinate issued conclusions exonerating Interior Ministry officers from responsibility for the false arrest and torture in detention of Sergei Magnitsky.


10) On 31 May 2011, President Medvedev ordered Chaikato exercise personal control over the Magnitsky death investigation and the investigation into the $230 million fraud.


11) On 1 June 2011, Prosecutor Chaika announced that he would bring creme de la creme of prosecutors to oversee the Magnitsky case. The official General Prosecutor’s Office statement said: “Due to the public resonance on instruction from the President of Russia, the General Prosecutor’s Office has created a group of prosecutors comprising employees of different specialised departments in order to strengthen and ensure qualified oversight over the process and results of the investigation of criminal cases by the Investigative Committee of Russia and the Investigative Department of the Interior Ministry of Russia.”


12) On January 23d 2012, Prosecutor Chaika personally blocked the proposal from the President’s Human Rights Council to combine the investigations of Sergei Magnitsky’s death and the $230 million fraud he had uncovered, having concealed in his report to the President that the conclusions drawn by his senior subordinates had exonerated Interior Ministry officials in the Magnitsky case.


13) In March 2013, the investigation into Magnitsky’s death was closed, finding no crime occurred, the conclusion that was approved by Chaika’s subordinate prosecutor Bochkaryev.


14) In 2013, Chaika’s Prosecutor’s Office advanced the posthumous trial over Sergei Magnitsky, the first in Russian legal history, with posthumous indictment of Sergei Magnisky sanctioned by Chaika’s deputy Victor Grin.


Prosecutor Chaika was one of the key Russian officials responsible for the human rights violations of Sergei Magnitsky when he was still alive and the cover-up of official responsibility of Sergei Magnitsky’s murder after he died. It’s clear that he wants to silence the people who are calling him out,” said  Bill Browder.


For more information please contact:                     


Justice for Sergei Magnitsky


+44 207 440 1777


Twitter: @KatieFisher__



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