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US Judge Makes Surprising Decision to Allow Lawyer John Moscow to Continue Representing Russian Client After Switching Sides in the Forfeiture Case from Crime Uncovered by Sergei Magnitsky

October 24, 2014

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US Judge Makes Sur­pris­ing Deci­sion to Allow Lawyer John Moscow to Con­tinue Rep­re­sent­ing Russ­ian Client After Switch­ing Sides in the For­fei­ture Case from Crime Uncov­ered by Sergei Magnitsky

24 Octo­ber 2014 – Yes­ter­day in the South­ern Dis­trict court of New York, U.S. fed­eral judge Thomas Griesa denied Her­mitage Capital’s motion to dis­qual­ify New York lawyer John Moscow, law firms Baker Hostetler and Baker Botts for con­flict of inter­est and breach­ing their client’s confidences.

The New York case involves the first fed­eral for­fei­ture and money laun­der­ing claim brought by the U.S. Gov­ern­ment in rela­tion to pro­ceeds from the $230 mil­lion theft in Rus­sia exposed by the mur­dered Hermitage’s Russ­ian lawyer Sergei Mag­nit­sky and the pro­ceeds from which have been since traced to mul­ti­ple juris­dic­tions around the world.

The US Gov­ern­ment has stated in its sub­mis­sion to the court that Her­mitage is a “vic­tim” of the $230 mil­lion fraud scheme which was per­pe­trated by the Russ­ian orga­ni­za­tion involv­ing Russ­ian gov­ern­ment offi­cials at issue in the for­fei­ture claim.

In 2008, when Hermitage’s Russ­ian lawyers, includ­ing Sergei Mag­nit­sky, who had inves­ti­gated and reported the $230 mil­lion fraud, came under attack from cor­rupt Russ­ian police offi­cers involved in the crime, Her­mitage hired John Moscow, a for­mer New York pros­e­cu­tor respon­si­ble for inves­ti­gat­ing the Russ­ian mafia and a part­ner with the U.S. firm Baker Hostetler. Moscow was brought on as an anti-money laun­der­ing expert to help iden­tify and pros­e­cute per­pe­tra­tors of the $230 mil­lion fraud with the assis­tance of the US Depart­ment of Jus­tice and to trace through US banks pro­ceeds of the $230 mil­lion fraud, the dis­cov­ery of which lead to the false arrest and death of Sergei Magnitsky.

In his work, which lasted eight months, John Moscow put together a strat­egy of using U.S. courts for sub­poe­nas, fed­eral for­fei­ture orders and RICO in order to go after the $230 mil­lion fraud per­pe­tra­tors, and pre­sented the results of Hermitage’s inves­ti­ga­tion to the U.S. Attorney’s Office. Since then, Her­mitage con­tin­ued its inves­ti­ga­tion into those who ben­e­fited from Sergei Magnitsky’s killing in Russ­ian police cus­tody and the $230 mil­lion fraud he had uncov­ered in coop­er­a­tion with law enforce­ment author­i­ties around the world.

Last year, the U.S. Attorney’s Office filed the for­fei­ture claim in South­ern Dis­trict Court of New York in rela­tion to the pro­ceeds from $230 mil­lion fraud that the U.S. Gov­ern­ment has traced to a num­ber of multi-million dol­lar prop­er­ties in Man­hat­tan belong­ing to Pre­ve­zon, a Cyprus com­pany owned by Russ­ian national Denis Kat­syv, a son of a for­mer high-level Moscow regional gov­ern­ment official.

To Hermitage’s dis­may, John Moscow appeared in court to rep­re­sent Pre­ve­zon in the case against the U.S. Gov­ern­ment. He and other lawyers rep­re­sent­ing the Russ­ian owner of Pre­ve­zon then began a cam­paign to dis­credit Her­mitage as a wit­ness for the U.S. Government.

We feel pro­foundly betrayed by John Moscow and what he did and are dis­ap­pointed that the court did not rec­og­nize that yes­ter­day,” said a Her­mitage Cap­i­tal representative.

For fur­ther infor­ma­tion please contact:

Her­mitage Cap­i­tal
Phone: +44 207 440 1777
Email: info@lawandorderinrussia.org
Web­site: http://lawandorderinrussia.org
Face­book: http://on.fb.me/hvIuVI
Twit­ter: @KatieFisher__



French Prosecutor Makes Public Attempt to Whitewash Corrupt Russian Officials on the Magnitsky List in Ablyazov Extradition Case

October 23, 2014

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French Pros­e­cu­tor Makes Pub­lic Attempt to White­wash Cor­rupt Russ­ian Offi­cials on the Mag­nit­sky List in Ablya­zov Extra­di­tion Case

23 Octo­ber 2014 – French pub­lic pros­e­cu­tor Chris­t­ian Pon­sard pub­licly dis­missed the death of Russ­ian anti-corruption lawyer Sergei Mag­nit­sky in Russ­ian police cus­tody as irrel­e­vant to cases of extra­di­tion to Rus­sia. He sug­gested that there was no rea­son to refuse French legal assis­tance to Russ­ian offi­cials who were involved in denial of med­ical care and other vio­la­tions of human rights in Mag­nit­sky case.

Speak­ing in Lyon Court at an extra­di­tion hear­ing of Mukhtar Ablya­zov last Fri­day, Pros­e­cu­tor Pon­sard report­edly said that the fact that this case was ini­ti­ated and inves­ti­gated by Russ­ian offi­cials sanc­tioned by the US and placed on the Euro­pean Parliament’s list should have no bear­ing on the extra­di­tion of Ablyazov.

Accord­ing to peo­ple present to the hear­ing, the French pros­e­cu­tor pro­posed that it was fine to extra­dite peo­ple into the hands of US-sanctioned and EU Parliament-designated Russ­ian offi­cials respon­si­ble for Sergei Magnitsky’s false arrest, tor­ture and death,” said a Her­mitage Cap­i­tal representative.

The state­ment made by Pon­sard is in direct con­tra­dic­tion to the Euro­pean Parliament’s find­ings on the Mag­nit­sky case which said in the res­o­lu­tion adopted on 2 April 2014:

The arrest and sub­se­quent death in cus­tody of Sergei Mag­nit­sky rep­re­sent a well-documented and sig­nif­i­cant case of dis­re­spect for human rights and fun­da­men­tal free­doms in Rus­sia, …and serve as a reminder of the many doc­u­mented short­com­ings in respect for the rule of law in Russia.”

The Euro­pean Parliament’s res­o­lu­tion names 32 Russ­ian offi­cials and pri­vate indi­vid­u­als involved in the Mag­nit­sky case (http://www.europarl.europa.eu/news/en/news-room/content/20140331IPR41184/html/Magnitsky-list-MEPs-call-for-EU-sanctions-against-32-Russian-officials).

It is sim­ply impos­si­ble for France, as a mem­ber of EU, to ask for jus­tice in Sergei Mag­nit­sky case and then extra­dite some­body in the hands of exactly the same peo­ple who already bear respon­si­bil­ity for com­plete injus­tice against Sergei Mag­nit­sky,” said Her­mitage Cap­i­tal representative.

French pros­e­cu­tor Pon­sard was sup­ported in his attempt to white­wash the crimes against Mag­nit­sky by Denis Gru­nis, head of Russ­ian Gen­eral Prosecutor’s inter­na­tional coop­er­a­tion sec­tion, who par­tic­i­pated in the same extra­di­tion hearing.

Russ­ian Pros­e­cu­tor Denis Gru­nis said he believed it did not mat­ter that the per­son who approved a request for Mr Ablyazov’s extra­di­tion was Moscow judge Alexei Krivoruchko, the same judge who two months before Magnitsky’s death, on 14 Sep­tem­ber 2009, refused com­plaints from Sergei Mag­nit­sky against cruel treat­ment and denial of med­ical care and who pro­longed his detention.

Mr Krivoruchko has been placed on both US and EU Parliament-designated Mag­nit­sky sanc­tions lists.

The view of the French pub­lic pros­e­cu­tor is also in con­tra­dic­tion to the con­clu­sions by the 47-member state Par­lia­men­tary Assem­bly of the Coun­cil of Europe expressed in a report “Refus­ing Impunity for the Killers of Sergei Mag­nit­sky” and adopted by over­whelm­ing major­ity this Jan­u­ary (http://assembly.coe.int/nw/xml/XRef/Xref-XML2HTML-en.asp?fileid=20409&lang=en; http://assembly.coe.int/nw/xml/XRef/Xref-XML2HTML-FR.asp?fileid=20409&lang=FR).

Pros­e­cu­tor Pon­sard also ignores an ear­lier res­o­lu­tion by the same inter­na­tional body which con­cluded that mutual legal assis­tance to Rus­sia should not be pro­vided in politically-motivated and abu­sive crim­i­nal cases, high­light­ing among such cases offi­cial attacks on Sergei Mag­nit­sky and other Her­mitage lawyers in Russia.

Russ­ian polit­i­cal cam­paigner and world chess mas­ter, Garry Kas­parov, who attended the hear­ing in Lyon, said on his Face­book account:

[Pros­e­cu­tor] Pon­sard dis­counts …that seven of the Russ­ian judges and inves­ti­ga­tors [and oth­ers] in the case are on the US sanc­tions list for the per­se­cu­tion of Sergei Mag­nit­sky, an anti-corruption attor­ney who died hor­ri­bly in prison… We all know there is no jus­tice in Putin’s Rus­sia. I was very much hop­ing to see bet­ter here in France.”(https://www.facebook.com/GKKasparov/posts/10152818145798307)

The court deci­sion in this pro­ceed­ing is expected on Octo­ber 24, 2014, accord­ing to French press reports.

For fur­ther infor­ma­tion please contact:

Her­mitage Cap­i­tal
Phone: +44 207 440 1777
Email: info@lawandorderinrussia.org
Web­site: http://lawandorderinrussia.org
Face­book: http://on.fb.me/hvIuVI
Twit­ter: @KatieFisher__



Interpol has Re-opened the Browder Red Notice Case on the Back of Magnitsky’s Posthumous Trial

July 3, 2014

Inter­pol has Re–openedthe Brow­derRed Notice Case on the Back of Magnitsky’s Posthu­mous Trial

3 July 2014 – Doc­u­ments recently received from Inter­pol show that the Russ­ian gov­ern­ment has suc­cess­fully con­vinced Interpol’s Com­mis­sion for Con­trol of Files to re-open their con­sid­er­a­tion to issue an Inter­pol Red Notice for Bill Brow­der, by sub­mit­ting Mr Browder’s con­vic­tion in absen­tia in Rus­sia, where he was a co-defendant with the deceased Sergei Mag­nit­sky in the first ever posthu­mous trial in Russ­ian history.

Two pre­vi­ous Russ­ian attempts to get a Red Notice issued for Mr Brow­der failed because Inter­pol deemed those attempts were polit­i­cally moti­vated and vio­lated Interpol’s con­sti­tu­tion. Shortly after Interpol’s first rejec­tion of Russia’s request for Brow­der, Interpol’s Gen­eral Sec­re­tary wrote an edi­to­r­ial for the Daily Tele­graph news­pa­per, cit­ing Mr Browder’s case as the exam­ple for why reforms are not needed at Inter­pol (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/law-and-order/10082582/Interpol-makes-the-world-a-safer-place.html).

Strangely, Inter­pol has now decided to reopen the case based onthe Mag­nit­sky posthu­mous trial. Interpol’s Com­mis­sion for the Con­trol of Interpol’s Files said that it plans to re-examine the Russ­ian sub­mis­sion in rela­tion to Mr Brow­der at its next ses­sion in Octo­ber 2014.

It would be a true sig­nal of the need for reform of Inter­pol if a Red Notice were issued on the basis of the first posthu­mous trial in Europe since Pope For­mo­sus in 897,” said a Her­mitage Cap­i­tal representative.

In July 2013, Sergei Mag­nit­sky was con­victed of tax eva­sion three years after he was mur­dered in Russ­ian state cus­tody, in the first ever posthu­mous trial in Russ­ian his­tory. Bill Brow­der was con­victed as his co-defendant in the sec­ond ever trial in absen­tia against a West­erner. The trial was deemed to be polit­i­cally moti­vated and ille­git­i­mate by the Coun­cil of Europe, the Euro­pean Par­lia­ment and numer­ous inter­na­tional human rights organisations.

The con­vic­tions have since been upheld by the Moscow City court in Jan­u­ary this year, in the absence of lawyers for Mr Brow­der and Mr Mag­nit­sky. Instead, they were rep­re­sented by unknown lawyers appointed by the Russ­ian government.

In addi­tion to pre­sent­ing Inter­pol with the con­vic­tions from that trial as “new evi­dence,” the Russ­ian author­i­ties pre­sented a “fresh” arrest war­rant for Mr Brow­der, issued in March this year on the basis of the posthu­mous trial. The arrest war­rant was signed by Moscow judge Elena Stashina, who is sanc­tioned by the U.S. Gov­ern­ment for her role in the false deten­tion of Sergei Mag­nit­sky. Four days before Sergei Mag­nit­sky was mur­dered in police cus­tody, Judge Stashina pro­longed his deten­tion and denied Magnitsky’s med­ical care requests.

Judge Igor Alisov, who issued the posthu­mous con­vic­tion, was also placed on the U.S. Government’s sanc­tions list under the ‘U.S. Sergei Mag­nit­sky Rule of Law Account­abil­ity Act,’ for his role in con­ceal­ing the lia­bil­ity of offi­cials involved in Sergei Magnitsky’s death.

The doc­u­ments used in the posthu­mous trial were fab­ri­cated by Russ­ian Inte­rior Min­istry offi­cers, includ­ing offi­cers Artem Kuznetsov and Oleg Silchenko, also involved in Sergei Magnitsky’s false arrest and deten­tion, and who are also sanc­tioned by the U.S. Gov­ern­ment, which pro­hibits U.S. per­sons from any deal­ings with them.



Global Magnitsky Human Rights & Anti-Corruption Bill Approved by the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee

July 1, 2014

30 June 2014 – In a land­mark vote, the U.S. Sen­ate For­eign Rela­tions Com­mit­tee has approved a new Global Mag­nit­sky Bill (S. 1933) which builds on the suc­cess of Russia-focused Mag­nit­sky leg­is­la­tion by impos­ing tar­geted sanc­tions on cor­rupt offi­cials and human rights oppres­sors around the world.

“The new Global Mag­nit­sky Human Rights & Anti-Corruption bill is a his­toric piece of leg­is­la­tion designed to deter and cre­ate con­se­quences for those who are respon­si­ble for cor­rup­tion and human rights vio­la­tions around the world today. Mag­nit­sky sanc­tions are the new tech­nol­ogy for fight­ing human rights abuse in the 21st cen­tury,” said William Brow­der, leader of the global Mag­nit­sky jus­tice movement.

The new Global Mag­nit­sky bill expands the author­ity of the U.S. Pres­i­dent to impose tar­geted sanc­tions on for­eign per­sons involved in cor­rup­tion and gross vio­la­tions. The Global Mag­nit­sky sanc­tions include visa ban and asset freezes on indi­vid­ual human rights abusers any­where in the world.

In 2012, the U.S. Con­gress adopted the Russia-focused Mag­nit­sky Act which imposes such tar­geted sanc­tions on indi­vid­u­als who were involved in the tor­ture and killing of Russ­ian anti-corruption lawyer Sergei Mag­nit­sky, the cover up of these crimes, and indi­vid­u­als who are respon­si­ble for oppress­ing other Russ­ian civil rights activists.

Since the adop­tion of the Mag­nit­sky Act, 30 per­sons have been placed on the U.S. Government’s sanc­tions list, includ­ing Russ­ian gov­ern­ment offi­cials as well as leader of the Klyuev Crime Group respon­si­ble for the theft of $230 mil­lion of Russ­ian pub­lic funds exposed by late Sergei Mag­nit­sky (http://www.treasury.gov/resource-center/sanctions/OFAC-Enforcement/Pages/20140520.aspx).

The global Mag­nit­sky bill is the lat­est in a series of efforts by the US and Europe to build on the Mag­nit­sky Act and end impunity for human rights abusers and cor­rupt offi­cials around the world.

Fol­low­ing the vote in the Sen­ate For­eign Rela­tions Com­mit­tee, the next step in the leg­isla­tive process is for the Global Mag­nit­sky bill to be voted on the Sen­ate floor.

See details on the Global Mag­nit­sky bill:

https://beta.congress.gov/bill/113th-congress/senate-bill/1933

 



Russia Targets Magnitsky Justice Campaigner Browder Through Interpol for the Third Time

June 19, 2014

The Russ­ian gov­ern­ment has again tar­geted William Brow­der, leader of the global Mag­nit­sky jus­tice cam­paign, through Inter­pol, an inter­na­tional police organ­i­sa­tion. This is Russia’s third attempt to involve Inter­pol in its polit­i­cal attack on Mr Brow­der, who has angered the Russ­ian author­i­ties with his crit­i­cism of cor­rup­tion and human rights vio­la­tions under the Putin regime.

This morn­ing, the Russ­ian Gen­eral Prosecutor’s Office announced that it has suc­ceeded in its goal of mak­ing Interpol’s data pro­tec­tion com­mis­sion, known as the Com­mis­sion for the Con­trol of Interpol’s Files, to con­sider the third Russ­ian request seek­ing to search for William Brow­der via Inter­pol chan­nels. Pre­vi­ous requests were denied by both the Inter­pol Com­mis­sion and by Interpol’s Gen­eral Sec­re­tariat on the grounds of their “pre­dom­i­nantly polit­i­cal nature” and being con­trary to Interpol’s Con­sti­tu­tion and rules, which pro­hibit tar­get­ing polit­i­cal oppo­nents through police cooperation.

In a state­ment, the Russ­ian Gen­eral Prosecutor’s Office said this morning:

“Thanks to the actions of the Gen­eral Prosecutor’s Office of the Russ­ian Fed­er­a­tion, the Com­mis­sion for Con­trol of Interpol’s Files will recon­sider the mat­ter of the inter­na­tional search for William Brow­der.” http://www.genproc.gov.ru/smi/news/genproc/news-202876/The announce­ment fur­ther explained that the Russ­ian Prosecutor’s Office has achieved its goal of tar­get­ing Mr Brow­der at Inter­pol by “hold­ing meet­ings with Interpol’s lead­er­ship and heads of depart­ments”, and tak­ing part in the Inter­pol Commission’s meet­ing in Jan­u­ary 2014 with a “rea­soned report on the valid­ity of crim­i­nal pros­e­cu­tion” of Mr Browder.

Mr Brow­der, who resides in Eng­land, has been tar­geted by the Russ­ian author­i­ties with retal­ia­tory and spu­ri­ous crim­i­nal pro­ceed­ings in Rus­sia for a num­ber of years. The attack on him by the Russ­ian gov­ern­ment esca­lated after the adop­tion in Decem­ber 2012 of the U.S. ‘Sergei Mag­nit­sky Rule of Law Account­abil­ity Act’, which imposes tar­geted visa and finan­cial sanc­tions on Russ­ian offi­cials and oth­ers involved in Magnitsky’s ill-treatment and death in police cus­tody, and the sub­se­quent cover up of those crimes.

Since the pas­sage of the Mag­nit­sky law in the United States, the Russ­ian gov­ern­ment has responded in a hos­tile man­ner, by con­vict­ing Mr Brow­der in absen­tia and Mr Mag­nit­sky posthu­mously in the first ever posthu­mous trial in Russ­ian legal his­tory, which was held beyond the statute of limitations.The judge who presided over the posthu­mous trial was put on the sanc­tions list by the U.S. Gov­ern­ment, and at the same time pro­moted by Pres­i­dent Putin.  Russ­ian author­i­ties have also opened a new crim­i­nal case in which Mr Brow­der is alleged to have harmed Russia’s “national eco­nomic secu­rity,” through his share­holder activism twelve years ago at Kremlin-controlled Gazprom, Russia’s gas monopoly.

No com­ment from Interpol’s Com­mis­sion on the Russ­ian Prosecutor’s Office announce­ment is avail­able yet.



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