// Press Releases (in English)

Magnitsky’s Widow Asks Swiss Jewellery Company Chopard to Disassociate Itself From Moscow Film Festival That Plans to Screen Anti-Magnitsky Propaganda Film

June 22, 2016

PRESS RELEASE

For Immediate distribution

Magnitsky’s Widow Asks Swiss Jewellery Company Chopard to Disassociate Itself From Moscow Film Festival That Plans to Screen Anti-Magnitsky Propaganda Film

 

21 June 2016 – The widow of Sergei Magnitsky, the Russian lawyer killed in Russian police custody in 2009, has written to Karl-Friedrich Scheufele, CEO of Chopard, a super luxury Swiss watch and jewellery company, asking for Chopard to reconsider its sponsorship of the Moscow Film Festival which recently added Andrei Nekrasov’s anti-Magnitsky propaganda film to its program on 23-30 June 2016.

 

“I urge you to not associate your fine brand and reputation of your company with the people who killed my husband and benefited from the serious corruption he had uncovered, and to publicly disassociate with the film festival unless its organizers remove this film from the program. This film has been thoroughly discredited and described as propaganda,” said Sergei Magnitsky‘s widow in her letter to Chopard.

 

No reply from Chopard has been received.

 

The anti-Magnitsky film by Russian filmmaker Andrei Nekrasov has been endorsed by senior Russian Government officials, including Russian Foreign Affairs Minister Sergei Lavrov and Russian General Prosecutor Yuri Chaika. The film has been promoted by perpetrators and beneficiaries of the US$230 million fraud that Sergei Magnitsky exposed. These include: Pavel Karpov, the former Russian Interior Ministry officer who had custody of the documents used in the crime; Andrei Pavlov, lawyer for the Russian criminal group who took part in sham court proceedings as part of the fraud; and Denis Katsyv, son of a Russian government official, whose assets have been seized in the US and Switzerland for suspicion of laundering the proceeds of the US$230 million fraud.

 

It is surprising that Chopard would associate itself with this sordid spectacle. They should withdraw their funding for this effort. It’s one thing for compromised Russians to posthumously defame a Russian hero who gave his life for his principles. It’s entirely another when this is done relying on sponsorship funds from a reputable Western company like Chopard,” said William Browder, leader of the global Magnitsky Justice movement.

 

The anti-Magnitsky film by Andrei Nekrasov is one in a series of Russian propaganda and intimidation efforts seeking to fight Magnitsky sanctions and to avoid accountability for the torture and murder of Magnitsky and for the US$230 million theft he had uncovered. Prior to this, there has been a series of four propaganda films produced and aired on Russian federal TV stations in which Browder is portrayed as a CIA agent working to destroy Russia. Other methods have included opening new criminal cases against William Browder, as well as Russian anti-corruption blogger Alexei Navalny who has been vocally supporting justice for Sergei Magnitsky.

 

For more information, please contact:

 

Justice for Sergei Magnitsky

+44 207 440 1777

e-mail: info@lawandorderinrussia.org

www.lawandorderinrussia.org

www.billbrowder.com

twitter.com/Billbrowder

 



Russian General Prosecutor Ignores Sergei Magnitsky’s Mother’s Complaint Against Him for Slander

June 16, 2016

PRESS RELEASE

For Immediate distribution

 

Russian General Prosecutor Ignores Sergei Magnitsky’s Mother’s Complaint Against Him for Slander

 

16 June 2016 – Russian General Prosecutor Chaika refused to respond to Sergei Magnitsky’s mother’s application challenging his posthumous slander against her son. Ms Magnitskaya’s application highlighted new information on the cover up since 2008 of perpetrators of the US$230 Million crime her son had uncovered, by the General Prosecutor’s Office and specifically by Chaika’s aid, prosecutor Bumazhkin. The cover up involved the early exoneration of all perpetrators of the theft of budget funds from any liability, allowing them to conceal evidence and launder the stolen funds in the year following the theft.

On December 14, 2016, Yuri Chaika accused Sergei Magnitsky of being a perpetrator of the $230 million fraud that Magnitsky had uncovered. His accusation was published in an “open letter” in the Russian newspaper Kommersant.

Magnitsky’s mother filed a formal application to Yuri Chaika stating that his claim is not based on facts, is contradicted by available documents, and sought the full disclosure of material that Chaika relied on to make the posthumous accusation against her son.

Prosecutor Chaika failed to respond to Ms Magnitskaya. Instead, prosecutor A.V. Kulikov of the 2nd unit of the Russian General Prosecutor’s Office in charge of highly important cases signed a formal reply stating that Magnitsky’s mother does not have the procedural standing to receive any documents.

“Your application to provide documents and on other matters have been considered…The investigative body does not have documents to verify that you have a standing in the criminal case…Therefore, your client and you do not have the right to access the materials of the preliminary investigation,” said prosecutor Kulikov.

The application on behalf of Mrs Magnitskaya to which Chaika failed to respond, said:

“Despite the numerous sufferings and torture that he[Magnitsky] had been subjected to by investigation in detention, he… repeated the testimony given before his arrest about the complicity of Interior Ministry officials in the crime against its citizens  – the theft of 5.4 billion rubles [$230 mln], and the crime against his client – the theft of the three companies of the Hermitage fund, and filed complaints against the violations of his rights committed personally by you and by your subordinates in the General Prosecutor’s Office.

 His lawyers did not ask him to sign documents about unknown events, but instead filed complaints, including complaints addressed to you personally, about the violations of his rights in detention, the unlawful deprivation of medical care, the pressure exerted to break his will and force him to give false testimony.

 Magnitsky did not sign false returns and forged documents and did not pass them to Gasanov and Markelov to use in the fraudulent refund of 5.4 billion rubles from the budget; these documents were manufactured by members of the criminal organization exposed by Magnitsky which comprised officials of the Interior Ministry and General Prosecutor’s Office who protected this organization, that for many years has specialized in the illegal tax refunds at the Moscow tax offices no 25 and no 28.

 Thanks to the investigation by Magnitsky, conducted for his client – the Hermitage fund, the theft of 5.4 billion rubles was uncovered, notified to you on 25 July 2008 …seeking to bring those complicit to justice, in response to which your aid A.K.Bumazhkin sent a reply dated 18.08.2008 that the investigation was suspended “due to the inability of suspects to participate” in the case, and then closed in relation to Markelov, Kurochkin and Khlebnikov …“due to the absence of crime in their actions.” Your aid also informed that the “outcomes of the investigation were under control of the General Prosecutor’s Office.

 Therefore, under the control and with the knowledge of the General Prosecutor’s Office, of which you are in charge, the perpetrators who committed the grandiose theft from the budget of 5.4 billion rubles, remained for a long time at large, had an opportunity to destroy evidence of their crime and continue it through unrestrained bank transfers designed to launder funds stolen from their fellow citizens.”

Sergei Magnitsky was Hermitage’s lawyer who uncovered the US$230 million fraud and testified about the complicity of Russian officials in it. He was falsely arrested, detained for 358 days without trial, tortured and killed in Russian police custody at the age of 37.

The events of this case are described in the New-York Times best-seller “Red Notice” by William Browder and in a series of campaign videos on Youtube channel “Russian Untouchables.”

 

Justice for Sergei Magnitsky

+44 207 440 1777

e-mail: info@lawandorderinrussia.org

www.lawandorderinrussia.org

www.billbrowder.com

www.twitter.com/Billbrowder



Deliberate Lies of Nekrasov’s Anti-Magnitsky Film Exposed in a New 50-page Presentation by Magnitsky Justice Campaign

June 13, 2016

PRESS RELEASE
For Immediate distribution

Deliberate Lies of Nekrasov’s Anti-Magnitsky Film Exposed in a New 50-page Presentation by Magnitsky Justice Campaign

13 June 2016 – Today, in advance of a private screening at Newseum in Washington of an anti-Magnitsky film directed by Russian filmmaker Andrei Nekrasov, the Magnitsky Justice Campaign has released a 50-page presentation exposing the film’s deliberate misrepresentations. The presentation contains links to 25 documents exposing the lies of the film.

The presentation can be downloaded here: http://russian-untouchables.com/docs/Nekrasov%20Lies%20Presentaion%20June%20(ENG)%20NEW%20JUNE%202016%20v%202.pdf

“Andrei Nekrasov’s movie is a complete fabrication. He promotes the Russian government’s false version of events. He claims Sergei Magnitsky died of natural causes and did not testify against Russian police officers. Both claims are contradicted by official documents which show evidence of Magnitsky’s beating in police custody in the last hours of his life, and the text of the testimony by Magnitsky before his arrest, in which he names the corrupt Russian police officers 27 times,” said William Browder, leader of the global Magnitsky Justice movement.

Nekrasov’s film tries to present the storyline that the Russian government was the victim in the whole affair instead of the murdered Sergei Magnitsky.

“This film is a shameless attempt to export the Russian government’s propaganda to the West. In Russia, corrupt officials and criminals exposed by Sergei Magnitsky enjoy impunity and now they are trying to use a purportedly independent filmmaker to avoid accountability in the West,” said William Browder.

To prepare his film, Andrei Nekrasov worked with some of the Russian perpetrators and beneficiaries of the US$230 million fraud exposed by Sergei Magnitsky. The same persons are involved in the film’s promotion in Europe and in the USA. In particular, the film is promoted by agents of Denis Katsyv, the son of the Russian official, whose assets have been frozen by the US and Swiss courts because of alleged involvement in money laundering of proceeds of the fraud uncovered by Sergei Magnitsky.

“The purpose of Andrei Nekrasov’s film is to absolve corrupt Russian officials and individuals who were involved in and benefited from the US$230 million fraud uncovered by Sergei Magnitsky. Some of them have been part of the film’s preparation and promotion,” said William Browder.

In his film, Andrei Nekrasov falsely claims that Magnitsky did not uncover the US$230 million corrupt scheme and instead was its perpetrator. This claim is contradicted by law enforcement investigations in 11 countries who have traced proceeds of the US$230 million crime to assets of Russian government officials and their relatives, including real estate in the US, Dubai and Swiss bank accounts. In particular, funds were received on a Swiss account of Vladlen Stepanov, husband of Russian tax official Olga Stepanova who approved a portion of the fraudulent US$230 million tax refund, and paid for properties for two of Stepanova’s deputies in the Russian Tax Office No 28 which approved the fraudulent tax refund.

The Panama Papers have also connected proceeds of the US$230 million fraud uncovered by Sergei Magnitsky, to a close friend of Russian President Vladimir Putin, Sergei Roldugin, who received funds on his corporate Swiss account.

Russian human rights activists who conducted an independent investigation into the Magnitsky’s case under the Russian President’s Human Rights Council, including Moscow Helsinki Group chair Ludmila Alexeeva, and head of the Moscow Public Oversight Commission Valery Borschev, have denounced the anti-Magnitsky film in public statements published in May 2016:
http://www.novayagazeta.ru/politics/72940.html; http://www.novayagazeta.ru/politics/72931.html .

The Council of Europe has exposed the falsity of Nekrasov’s claim that the Council of Europe’s investigation relied only on documents from William Browder, stating the Council of Europe examined all documents, including those received directly from the Russian government.

“In fact, in the report adopted in January 2014 by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, the working methods and sources of information for the rapporteur can be found. These include two visits to Moscow, meeting with senior representatives of the Russian authorities, with leading human rights defenders and official documents that have been transmitted directly from Russian authorities,” said First Deputy Chairman of the Legal and Human Rights Committee of the Council of Europe Bernd Fabritius on 24 May 2016: http://www.berndfabritius.de/pressemitteilung/bernd-fabritius-antwortet-auf-die-desinformationskampagne-gegen-den-bericht-der-parlamentarischen-versammlung-zum-fall-sergej-magnitzki/.

Sergei Magnitsky, Hermitage’s lawyer who uncovered the US$230 million fraud and testified about the complicity of Russian officials in it, was falsely arrested, detained for 358 days without trial, tortured and killed in Russian police custody at the age of 37. The events of this case are described in the New-York Times best-seller “Red Notice” by William Browder and in a series of campaign videos on Youtube channel “Russian Untouchables.”

For more information, please contact:

Justice for Sergei Magnitsky
+44 207 440 1777
e-mail: info@lawandorderinrussia.org
www.lawandorderinrussia.org
www.billbrowder.com
twitter.com/Billbrowder



Second Circuit Court in NY Will Hear Arguments on Disqualification of Law Firm Baker Hostetler for Ethical Violations in the Magnitsky Case

June 9, 2016

PRESS RELEASE
For Immediate distribution

Second Circuit Court in NY Will Hear Arguments on Disqualification of Law Firm Baker Hostetler for Ethical Violations in the Magnitsky Case

9 June 2016 – Today, the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit will hear the argument on the disqualification of law firm Baker Hostetler because of their disloyalty and conflict of interest in the US$230 Million Russian Fraud case uncovered by Sergei Magnitsky.

The conflict of interest stems from Baker Hostetler’s current representation of Prevezon, a Cyprus company owned by a son of Russian official accused by the US Department of Justice of laundering proceeds of the US$230 million fraud uncovered by Hermitage’s Russian lawyer Sergei Magnitsky.

Previously, in 2008-2009, Baker Hostetler represented Hermitage Capital Management, the victims of the US$230 million fraud, and assisted in Hermitage’s efforts to identify beneficiaries of this fraud and report them to the US Department of Justice for prosecution and forfeiture of assets.

Several years later Hermitage identified Prevezon as one of the suspected beneficiaries of the US$230 million fraud and reported it to the US Justice Department. At that time, Baker Hostetler inexplicably changed sides and showed up to defend Prevezon against the US Department of Justice lawsuit.

Baker Hostetler then mounted an attack on Hermitage, the victim of the fraud, falsely accusing Hermitage of complicity in that same fraud. This violation of the duty to its former client led Hermitage to filing for the disqualification of Baker Hostetler. The case is now in front of the Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit.

“This conduct sounds improper because it is improper,” said Hermitage in their court filing.

“This Court has recognized that maintaining the “delicate” balance between the right to “freely chosen counsel and the need to maintain the highest ethical standards of professional responsibility . . . is essential if the public’s trust in the integrity of the Bar is to be preserved.” Even casual observers are taken aback by Baker Hostetler’s conduct in this case, where it is defending a current client by falsely accusing a former client of a crime,” said Hermitage’s court filing.

Baker Hostetler hired Michael Mukasey, former U.S. Attorney General, of counsel with Debevoise & Plimpton LLP, to defend themselves against Hermitage’s disqualification motion.

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP was previously hired by Andrey Pavlov, identified by the US Justice Department as a member of the Russian criminal enterprise involved in the US$230 fraud scheme, to lobby the European Parliament to exclude his name from their Magnitsky Sanctions List. Despite Debevoise & Plimpton’s intervention, the European Parliament included Pavlov in a 32-person Sanctions List approved in April 2014.

Sergei Magnitsky, Hermitage’s lawyer who uncovered the US$230 million fraud and testified about the complicity of Russian officials in it, was falsely arrested, detained for 358 days without trial, tortured and killed in Russian police custody at the age of 37. The events of this case are described in the New-York Times best-seller “Red Notice” by William Browder and in a series of campaign videos on Youtube channel “Russian Untouchables.” Recently, thanks to the “Panama Papers”, proceeds of US$230 million fraud uncovered by Sergei Magnitsky, were traced to Swiss account of a company owned by Sergei Roldugin, a close friend of Russian President Vladimir Putin.

The court hearing on the disqualification of Baker Hostetler will begin at 10am, 9 June 2016, at room 1703 of the Thurgood Marshall Courthouse, 40 Foley Square in New York.

For more information, please contact:

Justice for Sergei Magnitsky
+44 207 440 1777
e-mail: info@lawandorderinrussia.org
www.lawandorderinrussia.org
www.billbrowder.com
twitter.com/Billbrowder



Museum of Journalism and Free Speech in Washington to Screen US Premiere of Kremlin anti-Magnitsky Propaganda Film

June 8, 2016

PRESS RELEASE

For Immediate distribution

 

 

 

Museum of Journalism and Free Speech in Washington to Screen US Premiere of Kremlin anti-Magnitsky Propaganda Film

 

8 June 2016 – On Monday, 13 June 2016, Norwegian PirayaFilms AS plans to screen the anti-Magnitsky propaganda film at the free speech museum in Washington, Newseum, at 6:30 pm.

 

In an anonymous email sent yesterday from a “The Magnitsky Act Screening” gmail account:  themagnitskyactscreening@gmail.com to an undisclosed list of recipients, Piraya Films AS invites to “a special screening of The Magnitsky Act with reception and Q&A by Director Andrei Nekrasov moderated by Seymour Hersh.”  The event is to take place at the Newseum’s Knight Conference Center, 7th floor.

 

Norwegian Piraya Films AS intends for members of the US Congress and their staffers to attend the screening, saying:

 

“This event complies with congressional gift rules so that Members and staff of the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives may attend.”

 

The attendance at the screening is to be tightly controlled. The guests are told that “photo identification will be required for entry into this event as it is by invitation only” and that the invitation itself is “not transferrable.”

 

The anti-Magnitsky propaganda film, containing an entirely false and defamatory narrative of the Russian authorities, was directed by Russian filmmaker Andrei Nekrasov, who supported Putin’s invasion into Ukraine, and produced by a Norwegian film company associated with him, called Piraya Film AS.

 

“The lies presented in the anti-Magnitsky film are not new, and are based on the past narrative from the Russian authorities who covered up the murder of Sergei Magnitsky and the criminals who stole $230 million from the Russian people – the crime Magnitsky exposed,” said William Browder, leader of the global Magnitsky justice movement and author of “Red Notice: How I Became Putin’s No 1 Enemy.

 

“However, the grandiose and brazen falsification in the anti-Magnitsky film because of its scope and the ramification for international policy towards Russia is akin to other attempts to re-write history and falsify the truth, seen in the case of Soviets’ denying their involvement in the Katyn massacre or claims denying that the Holocaust existed,” said William Browder.

 

Russian human rights activists who conducted an independent investigation into the Magnitsky’s case have publicly denounced the anti-Magnitsky film.

 

Ludmila Alexeeva, head of the Moscow Helsinki Group, and one of the last surviving leaders of the Soviet dissident movement, said on 4 May 2016:

 

“The high-profile exposure of corruption was started specifically by Sergei Magnitsky. That is why it is so important for the people complicit in the conspiracy to defame Magnitsky and the evidence which he made public. As a result, this film appeared…  To try to show that everything – what Magnitsky first said, then the Panama leaks – are nonsense. What they want is to revoke sanctions. They decided to start with the disavowing of the Magnitsky list.”

 

“I have no idea who specifically is behind this [Andrei Nekrasov’s] film and who hired the author, I have no idea. But one thing is clear – these are the people who are very interested to disavow the evidence of corruption, which started to emerge first with the case of Magnitsky (and thanks to Magnitsky), and continues to emerge, but on a global scale (such as the Panama leaks),” said Ludmila Alexeeva (http://www.novayagazeta.ru/politics/72940.html).

 

Valery Borschev, head of the Moscow Public Oversight Commission, an independent panel that under Russian law investigated Magnitsky’s death since 2009, said on 2 May 2016:

 

“I state firmly: the film does not reflect the true state of affairs in part concerning the detention of Magnitsky.” (http://www.novayagazeta.ru/politics/72931.html).

 

When the anti-Magnitsky film was first proposed in April 2016 for a screening at the European Parliament in Brussels by Finnish MEP Heidi Hautala, the Magnitsky family made a public statement against any form of distribution of this film because of its false and defamatory content.

 

The European parliament then cancelled the film screening on 27 April 2016. Shortly after, the French TV network ARTE declined to broadcast the anti-Magnitsky film in May 2016. The German TV station ZDF also declined to broadcast the film in May 2016.

 

Yesterday, on June 7, 2016, following an application to the Oslo City Court for an injunction by the Magnitsky family, the Norwegian film festival, Kortfilmfestivalen, withdrew the anti-Magnitsky film produced by Piraya Films AS from its program on June 9-10, 2016. Judge Henning Kristiansen signed the transcript of the proceeding, which confirms that the festival will not show the film in any version.

 

“No public interest dictates spreading of an untrue and grossly defamatory film of this nature. As previously mentioned, defamation in the film includes the “acquittal” of Russian authorities for gross corruption and serious human rights violations in the Magnitsky case. The public is not well served by disinformation,” said the Magnitsky family in their injunction application to the Oslo court.

 

Piraya Films AS is co-owned by Norwegians Bjarte Mørner Tveit and Torstein Grude, who also serve as Piraya Films’s CEO and Chairman respectively, with a further 10% owned by Sobra AS, a real estate company belonging to Find Gjedebo, according to the Norwegian corporate registry.

 

Sergei Magnitsky, Hermitage’s lawyer who uncovered the US$230 million fraud and testified about the complicity of Russian officials in it, was falsely arrested, detained for 358 days without trial, tortured and killed in Russian police custody at the age of 37. The events of this case are described in the New-York Times best-seller “Red Notice  by William Browder and in a series of campaign videos on Youtube channel “Russian Untouchables.” Recently, thanks to Panama Papers, proceeds of US$230 million fraud uncovered by Sergei Magnitsky, were traced to Swiss account of a company owned by Sergei Roldugin, a close friend of Russian President Vladimir Putin.

 

For more information, please contact:

 

Justice for Sergei Magnitsky

+44 207 440 1777

e-mail: info@lawandorderinrussia.org

www.lawandorderinrussia.org

billbrowder.com

twitter.com/Billbrowder



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