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Magnitsky Sanctions Legislation Introduced in the Lithuanian Parliament

April 20, 2017

Press Release

For Immediate Distribution

 

Magnitsky Sanctions Legislation Introduced in the Lithuanian Parliament

20 April 2017 – Today, Magnitsky sanctions legislation has been introduced in the Lithuanian Parliament.

The Lithuania’s Magnitsky bill refuses entry to Lithuania to persons who have been involved in human rights abuses, money laundering and corruption.

The bill is the initiative of Gabrielius Landsbergis, MP, Chairman of the Homeland Union-Lithuanian Christian Democrats, and is co-sponsored by twenty other members of the Lithuanian Parliament from all major political groups, including Farmers and Greens, Social Democrats, Homeland Union -Christian Democrats, and the Liberals.

Mr Landsbergis said of the Magnitsky initiative:

“The impunity of foreign persons who perpetrate gross human rights violations, participate in money laundering or corruption should not be tolerated just because the justice system and the rule of law is corrupted in an undemocratic country, as the Magnitsky case has shown. It is important to let perpetrators know in advance that such crimes are not tolerated in Lithuania and that such people will not be allowed to enter our country. Our Magnitsky law is universal, just as human rights themselves.”

“I hope that more democratic countries in Europe will follow suit, and that finally we will have EU-level sanctions in this regard, just as the European Parliament has called for,” said Mr Landsbergis.

The proposed Magnitsky legislation seeks to amend Article 133 of the Lithuanian Law on the Legal Status of Aliens.

It would ban an alien from entering the Republic of Lithuania if there is information or good reason to believe that the person participated in or contributed to large-scale corruption or money laundering, or to violations of human rights, which resulted in the death or serious injury of a person, the unfounded conviction of a person based on political motives, or other serious negative consequences.

The Magnitsky legislation is proposed as a result of the case of Sergei Magnitsky in Russia which has become emblematic of the human rights abuse for the financial benefit of corrupt government officials.

In 2008, Sergei Magnitsky uncovered a $230 million tax theft committed by Russian state officials, but when he implicated the officials involved, he himself was arrested, unjustly imprisoned for 358 days, tortured and beaten to death in detention center on November 16th, 2009 at the age of 37, leaving a wife and two children.

The Campaign for Justice for Sergei Magnitsky has been vigorously pursued by his former colleagues, which has led to the US Congress passing the Sergei Magnitsky Rule of Accountability Act in 2012, and the Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act in 2016.

In December 2016, the Estonian Parliament unanimously passed its own Magnitsky Law denying entry to Estonia to human rights abusers.

This year, the UK Parliament has begun consideration of the Magnitsky legislation imposing the financial sanction on human rights abusers in the form of assets forfeiture. The UK’s Magnitsky assets sanctions legislation has been passed by the House of Commons and is being currently considered in the House of Lords.

Main sponsor of the Lithuanian Magnitsky bill:

–       Gabrielius Landsbergis, Leader of TS-LKD Group in Seimas, Chairman of TS-LKD, he also served as Member of the European Parliament in the European People’s Party.

Among other co-sponsors of the Lithuanian Magnitsky bill:

–       Mr Vytautas Bakas, Lithuania’s Farmers and Greens Union, Chair of the National Security and Defence Committee, member of the Anti-Corruption Commission.

–       Mr  Juozas Bernatonis, Social Democrats party, Chair of the of Foreign Affairs Committee, he also served as chief adviser under Prime Minister Kirkilas and as a Ministry of Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary Ambassador to the Republic of Estonia.

–       Ms Aušrinė Armonaitė, Liberals Movement party, member of the Foreign Affairs Committee.

The events of the Magnitsky case are described in the international best-seller “Red Notice” by William Browder and in a series of Magnitsky justice campaign videos on the YouTube channel, “Russian Untouchables.”

For more information, please contact:

Justice for Sergei Magnitsky

44 207 440 1777

info@lawandorderinrussia.org

www.lawandorderinrussia.org

billbrowder.com

twitter.com/Billbrowder

 

 

 



Canadian Parliament Formally Recommends the Canadian Government Adopt Magnitsky Sanctions Against Human Rights Violators

April 7, 2017

Press Release
For Immediate Distribution

Canadian Parliament Formally Recommends the Canadian Government Adopt Magnitsky Sanctions Against Human Rights Violators


6 April 2017 – Today, the Canadian Parliament’s Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs has issued a formal recommendation to the Canadian government to update the existing sanctions legislation with the Magnitsky sanctions against human rights violators.
In their recommendation, the Committee said: “In honour of Sergei Magnitsky, the Government of Canada should amend the Special Economic Measures Act to expand the scope under which sanctions measures can be enacted, including in cases of gross human rights violations.”

The Magnitsky recommendations include:

1) Freezing assets of human rights violators,

2) Banning their entry to Canada,

3) Publishing a list of people and entities subject to these sanctions, and

4) Conducting an annual review of the Canadian government’s enforcement of the legislation.

The recommendation was inspired by the case of Sergei Magnitsky in Russia, but has been expanded to apply to human rights violators globally.
The Committee concluded:

“While originally focused on addressing the human rights situation in Russia, catalysed by the tragic case of Sergei Magnitsky, this movement now calls for the application of sanctions against human rights violators globally, and was instrumental in the passing of the Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act in the U.S.

The report by Canada’s Foreign Affairs Committee cites William Browder, leader of the global Magnitsky Justice Campaign:
“Effectively, with a Magnitsky act, whether it be a Russian act specifically or a global act, it would give people some hope that in Canada, the United States, and other places, people do care.”


The Canadian Magnitsky Recommendation is a result of a five-month review of the sanctions regime conducted in the Canada’s House of Commons.
“The Committee heard compelling testimony from a number of highly-respected human rights activists regarding how sanctions can be a potentially valuable tool in the promotion and protection of human rights. They recommended that Canada expand the legislative authority under which the government can impose sanctions against human rights violators,” says the Foreign Affairs Committee report.

The report by the Foreign Affairs Committee quotes Zhanna Nemtsova, founder of the Boris Nemtsov Foundation for Freedom, named after her father, a Russian pro-democracy advocate who was murdered in 2015, saying:

“These are not sanctions against a country or even a government. These are sanctions against specific individuals responsible for corruption and for abusing human rights.”


The Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs was tasked with the review of the sanctions regime on 14 April 2016 by the Canada’s House of Commons.
The Committee held the review from October 2016, by conducting 13 hearings where different experts testified on the legislation. The committee assessed related policy issues from government officials, academics, researchers, stakeholders and practitioners.

Today, the Committee published its final report recommending the Government adopts the Magnitsky sanctions.
As part of its recommendations, the Foreign Affairs Committee called for the Government to publish a list of sanctioned persons:

“The Government of Canada should produce and maintain a comprehensive, public and easily accessible list of all individuals and entities targeted by Canadian sanctions containing all information necessary to assist with the proper identification of those listed.”

The Foreign Affairs Committee also recommended that the Government publishes an annual report on the implementation of the sanctions regime.

“The Government of Canada should amend the Special Economic Measures Act to require the production of an annual report by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, to be tabled in each House of Parliament within six months of the fiscal year-end, which would detail the objectives of all orders and regulations made pursuant to that Act and actions taken for their implementation.”

The next step is for the Canadian government to consider the parliament’s recommendation and draft legislation.

 

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
 



Magnitsky Family Lawyer Remains in Intensive Care Unit, But no Longer in Critical Condition

March 22, 2017

Press Release

For Immediate Distribution

 

Magnitsky Family Lawyer Remains in Intensive Care Unit, But no Longer in Critical Condition

 22 March 2017 – Russian lawyer Nikolai Gorokhov, who represents Sergei Magnitsky’s family, remains in the intensive care unit at Moscow Botkin hospital. His condition is presently assessed as serious, but not critical. He is conscious and responsive and this morning Nikolai was able to speak to doctors.

Our thoughts and prayers are now with Nikolai and his family at this difficult time,” said William Browder, leader of the global Magnitsky justice campaign.

Since last night, Russian state media carried statements from Russian law enforcement sources dismissing foul play.

Details about the incident with Nikolai Gorokhov were first publicised soon after the incident by life.ru, a Russian media organization reportedly connected to Russian state security services.

The details presented by life.ru and other Russian state-controlled media contradict the information available from eyewitnesses. The notable differences concern the number of workers at the scene who were delivering a bathtub to the upper floor of the apartment building where the lawyer lives, and the whereabouts of the people at the scene during the incident.

Nikolai Gorokhov was scheduled to appear this morning, at 10:50 am, in front of the Moscow City Appeals Court to argue the new “Pavlov Leaks” case exposing organized crime and corruption in the US$230 million fraud investigation in which all Russian officials were exonerated and Sergei Magnitsky was accused posthumously.

The new evidence submitted by Nikolai Gorokhov in particular shows regular communications between Andrei Pavlov, lawyer for the Klyuev organized crime group who was involved in the US$230 mln fraud, and Oleg Urzhumtsev, ex Interior Ministry investigator (sanctioned under the US Magnitsky Act), who helped Pavlov and others evade responsibility for their role in the crime that Sergei Magnitsky exposed. Certain Klyuev gang members are identified in the communications by their criminal aliases such as: “The Bold” and “The Great.”

The outcome of the hearing at the Moscow City Court today is not known.

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

 

 



Magnitsky Family Lawyer Thrown off Top Floor Apartment in Moscow, Now in Critical Condition

March 21, 2017

Press Release

For Immediate Distribution

 

Magnitsky Family Lawyer Thrown off Top Floor Apartment in Moscow, Now in Critical Condition

 

21 March 2017 – Russian lawyer Nikolai Gorokhov, who represents Sergei Magnitsky’s family, has been thrown from the top floor of his apartment building earlier today and is currently hospitalized in the intensive care unit of Botkin hospital in Moscow with severe head injuries.

 

Nikolia Gorokhov is a key witness in the US Government’s case against Prevezon Holdings, a Cyprus company owned by Denis Katsyv, son of senior Russian Government official Petr Katsyv. The trial is scheduled to begin in the Federal court in New York on May 15th 2017. The trial is in relation to alleged money laundering by Prevezon of proceeds of US$230 million fraud that Sergei Magnitsky uncovered and was killed for exposing in 2009 at the
age of 37.

 

Tomorrow morning, at 10:50 am, Nikolai Gorokhov was scheduled to appear in front of the Moscow City Appeals Court to argue against the Tverskoi District Court’s refusal to consider a new criminal complaint filed by Sergei Magnitsky’s mother in relation to the discovery of “Pavlov Leaks” – a series of electronic communications between Russian lawyer Andrei Palvov and other members and associates in the Klyuev Organized Crime Group. The Pavlov Leaks show collusion of those responsible for the $230 million fraud uncovered by Sergei Magnitsky and police officers assigned to investigate the US$230 million fraud and Magnitsky’s death in custody.

Mr Gorokhov, 53 years old, works with Prioritet bar chambers in Moscow. He is a well-known lawyer, who previously worked as investigator in the prosecutor’s office.

 

In 2011, Nikolai Gorokhov volunteered to represent the Magnitsky family in their fight for justice for Sergei Magnitsky. He has since filed numerous complaints and appeals seeking investigation of Sergei Magnitsky’s torture and murder in Moscow police custody. Despite the numerous complaints, the Russian authorities closed the investigation into Magnitsky’s murder for lack of crime, and posthumously accused Sergei Magnitsky himself of perpetrating the $230 mln fraud. Officials he had implicated in the US$230 mln fraud have been since given state honors, promoted and exonerated from any liability by the Russian government.

 

 

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

 



Moscow Court Set to Approve Arrest Warrant for William Browder After Death Threats to Coerce Main Government Witness to Testify

March 20, 2017

PRESS RELEASE

For Immediate distribution

Moscow Court Set to Approve Arrest Warrant for William Browder After Death Threats to Coerce Main Government Witness to Testify

20 March 2017 – The Moscow City Court is expected to approve the repeat arrest warrant for William Browder and his colleague, Ivan Cherkasov on Tuesday, 22 March 2017.

There is currently a Russian arrest warrant in place for William Browder based on his 2013 Russian conviction in Russia. The new arrest warrant being requested by the Russian authorities is based on the same criminal case under which Mr Browder was previously convicted in absentia and his lawyer, Sergei Magnitsky, posthumously in 2013, involving Russian government tax claims against a Hermitage Fund subsidiary Dalnaya Step.

In order to justify the new arrest warrant, the Russian authorities have arrested Alexander Dolzhenko, a Russian insolvency practitioner. He was arrested in July 2015 and charged with colluding with Browder to falsely bankrupt Dalnaya Step. According to Mr Dolzhenko’s statement, he was taken to FSB headquarters in Stavropol and told:

“If you were a patriot of Russia, you would give evidence against the leaders of Dalnaya Step who had bought up Gazprom shares; it is necessary to take their foreign property.”

At the beginning of the interrogation, according to Dolzhenko, he was told: “Eight people had died in that case, the last one being Magnitsky, and … if I persist, that list would grow.”

Mr Dolzhenko initially testified against Browder, but the later retracted his testimony, stating that he “was forced to sign the interrogation report by blackmail,” and that he first heard the name of Browder from the investigator.

In November last year, in court hearings on the case against Dolzhenko held in Elista in southern Russia, he collapsed in court suffering a heart attack. He was taken to the hospital but the case carried on. When his lawyer protested during the proceedings, he was forced off the court room and a state lawyer was appointed to Dolzhenko.

It’s expected that Dolzhenko will be convicted later this month, with the final hearing in the case to take place on Tuesday, 22 March in Elista court.

His conviction is expected to be used by the Russian government to pursue Mr Browder in a new in absentia trial in Russia later this year and a new civil case in London which is ongoing.

The arrest warrant decree does not correspond to the purpose of the criminal justice and demonstrates the denial of access to justice,” said Russian lawyer for William Browder and Ivan Cherkasov, Alexander Antipov.

For more information, please contact:

Justice for Sergei Magnitsky

+44 207 440 1777
info@lawandorderinrussia.org
www.lawandorderinrussia.org
billbrowder.com
twitter.com/Billbrowder



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