// Press Releases (in English)
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:
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.
Russian Interior Ministry Produces False Information to Assist one Officer in Attempt to Get Off of New U.S. Magnitsky List
May 23, 2014
Yesterday, the Moscow branch of the Russian Interior Ministry responded to the inclusion of its official Andrei Krechetov in the U.S. Magnitsky List with a statement claiming that he did not have direct role in the Magnitsky’s case.
On 20 May 2014, the U.S. Treasury published an addition to the Magnitsky List, which included 10 Russians with personal involvement in the Magnitsky case, including the Interior Ministry official Andrei Krechetov. (more…)
April 10, 2014
The Norwegian government has decided to protect William Browder, the leader of the Magnitsky justice campaign from Russian persecution on their territory.
In a letter sent to Mr Browder’s UK lawyers, the Norwegian Ministry of Justice said that they have concluded that in light of the political nature of the proceedings against Browder, Norway would not extradite or provide legal assistance to Russia in relation to Mr Browder.
“The Norwegian Ministry of Justice and Public Security is at present of the view that the criteria for extradition and Mutual Legal Assistance are not fulfilled,” said the Norwegian Justice Ministry in its letter. (more…)