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Magnitsky Legislation Takes off on the European Continent with the Adoption of Magnitsky Bill by Estonian Parliament

December 8, 2016

PRESS RELEASE

For Immediate distribution

Magnitsky Legislation Takes off on the European Continent with the Adoption of Magnitsky Bill by Estonian Parliament

 

08 December 2016 – The Estonian Parliament has unanimously, with 90 votes in favour and zero votes against, passed Magnitsky legislation (“Act 262 SE”) and sent it to the President of Estonia.

 

“We will finally have the ability to ban entry into Estonia for those types of people who beat Magnitsky to death in jail and those who tortured Yulia Savchenko,” said Eerik-Niiles Kross, MP from Estonia’s Reform Party.

 

 

The Magnitsky legislation passed by the Estonian Parliament adds a ground to deny entry to Estonia on the basis of human rights abuse, under Section 29(1) of the Obligation to Leave and Prohibition on Entry Act.

 

The Estonia’s Magnitsky legislation supplements and clarifies the legal basis to refuse entry to known human rights abusers. The ban to enter Estonia will in particular apply in cases where human rights violations led to injury or death.

 

The new clause states that a prohibition on entry may be applied with regard to an alien if, “there is information or good reason to believe that he or she has participated in or contributed to violation of human rights in a foreign state, which has resulted in the death or serious damage to health of a person, unfounded conviction of a person for criminal offence on political motives, or other serious consequences.”

 

Estonia’s Magnitsky legislation was initiated by the Foreign Affairs Committee, and prior to yesterday’s vote underwent a review by the Commission of Constitutional Affairs.

 

The Estonian Magnitsky legislation passed three Parliamentary readings before its unanimous adoption today.

 

“This historic law will send a clear message to human rights abusers around the world that they will not be able to escape the consequences of their crimes,” said William Browder, leader of the Magnitsky Justice Campaign. “To have the first European Magnitsky law passed in a country which borders Russia is a fitting tribute to Sergei Magnitsky, whose murder in Russia inspired this legislation.”

 

Sergei Magnitsky, a 37-year old Russian lawyer, uncovered and testified about a US$230 million fraud by Russian officials and organized criminals. He was arrested by some of the same officials he had implicated in his testimony, kept in detention without trial for 358 days, and killed on 16 November 2009. Russia closed the investigation into his death due to absence of a crime, promoted police officers involved in his arrest, and exonerated tax officials involved in the US$230 million fraud.

 

The Estonian legislation coincides with several Magnitsky legislative initiatives currently taking place around the world, including a Global Magnitsky Act in the United States, a UK Magnitsky Amendment which was tabled in the UK Parliament last week, and a Global Magnitsky law which is underway in Canada.

 

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

 

Estonian Magnitsky Law:

https://www.riigikogu.ee/tegevus/eelnoud/eelnou/e51b847b-0c50-4e82-9ac2-8b004be00481/V%C3%A4ljas%C3%B5idukohustuse%20ja%20sisses%C3%B5idukeelu%20seaduse%20muutmise%20seadus/

 

Estonian Parliament’s website:

https://www.riigikogu.ee/istungi-ulevaated/riigikogu-taiendas-valismaalasele-sissesoidukeelu-kehtestamise-aluseid/

 

Why Europe Needs a Magnitsky Law?

https://www.amazon.com/Why-Europe-Needs-Magnitsky-Law/dp/2954629800

 

 

 



British Parliament Moves to Impose Magnitsky Asset Freezes on the U.K. Property of Human Rights Violators

December 5, 2016

PRESS RELEASE

For Immediate distribution

 

British Parliament Moves to Impose Magnitsky Asset Freezes on the U.K. Property of Human Rights Violators

 

05 December 2016 – Members of Parliament from all of Britain’s main political parties have joined forces to introduce Magnitsky asset freezing legislation in the UK as part of the Criminal Finances Bill.

 

The new anti-corruption legislation, known as the “Magnitsky Amendment,” will apply to those who are involved in or profited from human rights abuse, including those engaged in retaliation against whistleblowers on foreign corruption.

 

The Amendment can be found on the UK Parliament website: http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/bills/cbill/2016-2017/0097/amend/criminal_rm_rep_1128.1-5.html

 

The Magnitsky Amendment will enable both the government and private parties to apply for the freezing of UK assets belonging to human rights abusers and their beneficiaries. It will be part of the UK’s Criminal Finances Bill, aimed to strengthen UK’s anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist finance legislative framework.

Dominic Raab, MP for Esher & Walton who tabled the amendment, said:

“People with blood on their hands for the worst human rights abuses should not be able to funnel their dirty money into the UK. This change in the law will protect Britain from becoming a safe place for despots and dictators to hide their money.”

The cross-party initiative was sponsored by Dominic Raab MP (Conservative), Dame Margaret Hodge MP (Labour), Tom Brake MP (Liberal Democrat), Ian Blackford MP (SNP), Douglas Carswell MP (UKIP), Caroline Lucas MP (Green), and Sammy Wilson MP (Democratic Unionist). It is supported by an additional 20 MPs (see full list of supporting MPs, below).

 

“For too long the UK has acted as a safe haven for foreign kleptocrats and their ill-gotten gains,” said Dame Margaret Hodge, Labour MP for Barking and one of the initiators of the legislation in the UK Parliament. “We hope this legislation will help to end this.”

 

The UK’s new major anti-corruption initiative is named after Russian lawyer Sergei Magnitsky, who was tortured and killed in Russian police custody after blowing the whistle on a US$230 million fraud perpetrated by Russian government officials and organised criminals.

 

“The UK Magnitsky Amendment is a ground-breaking piece of legislation which sends the message to human rights violators around the world that their blood money is no longer welcome here,” said William Browder, head of the Global Magnitsky Justice Campaign and author of Red Notice: How I Became Putin’s No 1 Enemy.

 

“By creating personal consequences for the perpetrators of these crimes, the UK will protect whistleblowers such as Sergei Magnitsky around the world,” said William Browder.

 

The Magnitsky Amendment addresses some of the shortcomings of the UK regime, which currently fails to prevent international criminals from storing the proceeds of their crimes in this country.  A recent Home Affairs Committee report estimated that over £100 billion is laundered through UK financial systems each year.

 

The legislation targets those who have persecuted whistleblowers, journalists, human rights activists and members of the political opposition.

 

The Magnitsky Amendment enables the government, individuals and entities (including NGOs) to apply to the High Court for a Magnitsky designation order to be issued against an individual, where credible evidence exists that the individual was involved in or profited from human rights abuse.

 

Crucially, it places a duty on the Secretary of State to apply for a designation order if they have been made aware of incriminating evidence against an individual and it is in the public interest to do so.

 

It also places a duty on enforcement agencies to act once a designation order has been made.

 

There will be a publicly available “UK Magnitsky list” of people who are subject to designation orders under the amendment.

 

The UK Magnitsky Amendment is the latest in a series of legislative initiatives around the world to end impunity for those involved in the Magnitsky case and other human rights abuses, which include the 2012 US Magnitsky Act and a European Parliament Magnitsky list issued in 2014. The UK Amendment coincides with a Global Magnitsky law in the United States, which is currently in the final stages of approval in Congress, and a Global Magnitsky law which is also underway in Canada.

 

The Magnitsky Amendment was tabled before the commencement of the Report Stage of the Criminal Finances Bill.  The next steps for the bill will be a full vote in the House of Commons, followed by a vote in the House of Lords.

 

Magnitsky Amendment Sponsoring MPs:

 

Dominic Raab MP (Conservative)

Rt Hon Dame Margaret Hodge MP (Labour)

Rt Hon Tom Brake MP (Liberal Democrat)

Mr Douglas Carswell MP (UK Independence Party)

Ian Blackford MP (Scottish Nationalist Party)

Caroline Lucas MP (Green Party)

Sammy Wilson MP (Democratic Unionist Party)

 

Magnitsky Amendment Supporting MPs:

 

 

Rt Hon Andrew Mitchell MP (Conservative)

Rt Hon Dominic Grieve QC MP (Conservative)

Dr Sarah Wollaston MP (Conservative)

Mr Jonathan Djanogly MP (Conservative)

Tim Loughton MP (Conservative)

Mr Jacob Rees-Mogg MP (Conservative)

James Gray MP (Conservative)

Bob Stewart MP (Conservative)

Rt Hon Sir Edward Garnier QC MP (Conservative)

Rt Hon Harriet Harman QC MP (Labour)

Rt Hon Margaret Beckett MP (Labour)

Chris Bryant MP (Labour)

Catherine McKinnell MP (Labour)

Rt Hon Caroline Flint MP (Labour)

Rachel Reeves MP (Labour)

Rt Hon Ben Bradshaw MP (Labour)

Rushanara Ali MP (Labour)

Rt Hon David Lammy MP (Labour)

Ms Margaret Ritchie MP (Social Democrat and Labour Party)

Mark Durkan MP (Social Democrat and Labour Party)

 

 

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

 

 



Bill Browder to Give Damning Testimony On the Criminality of the Putin Regime to UK Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee

November 8, 2016

PRESS RELEASE

For Immediate distribution

 

Bill Browder to Give Damning Testimony On the Criminality of the Putin Regime to UK Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee

 

8 November 2016 – Bill Browder, author of the best-selling book, “Red Notice: How I Became Putin’s Number One Enemy,” and leader of the global Magnitsky Justice campaign, will testify in the British parliament today, 8 November 2016, at 3:45 pm.

 

The hearing entitled “Critics of the Kremlin give evidence” is part of an inquiry on the UK’s relations with Russia and is organized by the Foreign Affairs Committee of the House of Commons.

 

Mr Browder will speak about his personal experience of dealing with Russian authorities, who have declared him a threat to national security; his campaign’s recent discoveries connecting illicit funds stolen from the Russian people directly to President Putin’s cronies; the role of Western enablers in attempting to protect Russia’s kleptocrats in the UK, and the implications for UK-Russia policy.

 

Mr Browder will talk about the fate of his young Russian lawyer, Sergei Magnitsky, who uncovered the theft of US$230 million from the Russian treasury by a criminal enterprise involving Russian officials, and who was killed in Russian police custody at the age of 37.
After Magnitsky’s death, Russian authorities posthumously accused him of the crime he had uncovered and exonerated all officials.

 

The Global Magnitsky Justice campaign has uncovered illicit funds connected to the US$230 million laundered in multiple jurisdictions, including the UK, and a number of proceedings around the world have been initiated as a result.

 

The Global Magnitsky Justice campaign also calls for targeted visa and financial sanctions on those connected to Sergei Magnitsky’s death and the crime he had uncovered. A law imposing such sanctions was introduced in the USA in 2012. A similar legislation has been initiated in the UK.

 

The testimony by Mr Browder on UK-Russia relations will take place at Boothroyd Room, Portcullis House, and will start at 3.45pm on Tuesday, 8 November 2016.

 

Mr Browder will be preceded by Russian dissident Mikhail Khodorkovsky who will also give evidence to the committee.

 

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

 

Announcement of the hearing on UK-Russia relations at the Commons Select Committee:

https://www.parliament.uk/business/committees/committees-a-z/commons-select/foreign-affairs-committee/news-parliament-2015/russia-critics-evidence-16-17/

 

 



US$14 Million Connected to Proceeds of US$230 Million Fraud Uncovered by Magnitsky Have Been Traced to Canada

October 27, 2016

US$14 Million Connected to Proceeds of US$230 Million Fraud Uncovered by Magnitsky Have Been Traced to Canada

27 October 2016 – US$14 Million of suspected illicit proceeds connected to the US$230 million Russian fraud uncovered by Hermitage’s murdered Russian lawyer, Sergei Magnitsky, have been traced to Canada.

In a complaint filed with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and eleven other law enforcement agencies this week, Hermitage’s lawyer, Lincoln Caylor of Bennett Jones LLP, outlined US$220,000 in proceeds which were transferred to Canada from two Cyprus accounts.  These two Cyprus accounts are connected to the leader of the Klyuev Organized Crime Group, Dmitry Klyuev, who is sanctioned under the US Magnitsky Act for his involvement in the Magnitsky case. These transactions can be traced back to the $230 million tax rebate fraud uncovered by Sergei Magnitsky in 2008.

An additional $1.5 million was wired to Canada through a number of different accounts which can also be traced back to the fraud uncovered by Sergei Magnitsky, and a further US$12.6 million in suspicious money transfers were wired from Canada back to the money laundering network used by the Russian fraudsters.

“Based on the present information, it is clear that Canada has a role to play in investigating the crime uncovered by Sergei Magnitsky,” said Bill Browder, leader of the global Magnitsky justice campaign.

The news comes amidst the debate in the Canadian parliament on the implementation of Magnitsky sanctions legislation in Canada, similar to that adopted by the US. The Parliamentary Assembly of the Organisation for Cooperation and Security in Europe, of which Canada is a member, also urged member states to adopt these sanctions in a 2012 Magnitsky resolution.

In 2008, Hermitage’s lawyer Sergei Magnitsky uncovered the US$230 million fraud and testified about the complicity of Russian officials in the fraud. He was falsely arrested by the Russian Interior Ministry, detained for 358 days without trial, tortured and killed in Russian police custody at the age of 37.

After Magnitsky’s death, Russian authorities posthumously accused him of the crime he had uncovered and exonerated all officials. Hermitage’s global justice campaign has identified numerous beneficiaries around the world who received funds laundered from the crime uncovered by Sergei Magnitsky.

Investigations into the laundering of proceeds of the US$230 million fraud have been opened in multiple countries, including the USA, France, and Switzerland.

 

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 which can be seen on the 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

billbrowder.com

twitter.com/Billbrowder



US Appeals Court Sets a Precedent Punishing Baker Hostetler Lawyers for Switching Sides from Crime Victims to Perpetrators in the Magnitsky Case

October 17, 2016

PRESS RELEASE

For Immediate distribution

US Appeals Court Sets a Precedent Punishing Baker Hostetler Lawyers for Switching Sides from Crime Victims to Perpetrators in the Magnitsky Case

 

17 October 2016 – In a precedent-setting decision, today the US Court of Appeals has disqualified US lawyers – Baker Hostetler and its partner John Moscow – from representing alleged Russian money launderers in the Magnitsky case.

 

“This case presents the “extraordinary circumstances” necessary to grant a writ of mandamus. …we …instruct the district court to enter an order disqualifying John Moscow and Baker Hostetler,” said the US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in the ruling issued today.

 

“The issue involved is significant and will aid in the administration of justice,” said the US Courts of Appeals.

 

“This case implicates a significant and novel question of law regarding the rights of non-party clients,” said the US Court of Appeals.

 

The US Court of Appeals said in its decision:

 

“The court has recognized that crime witnesses, as well as witnesses, possess legitimate interests in criminal proceedings that may support disqualification… For these purposes, we see no reason why a non-party victim is not entitled to the same solicitude as a non-party witness.”

 

Prevezon, a Cyprus company owned by the son of senior Russian official, is alleged by the US Department of Justice to have laundered proceeds from the US$230 million fraud against Hermitage, uncovered by Hermitage’s lawyer Sergei Magnitsky.

 

In 2008, Hermitage hired Baker Hostetler and John Moscow to investigate the US$230 million fraud and bring its perpetrators and beneficiaries to justice through pursuing prosecutions and asset freezes by the US Department of Justice. Hermitage also sought Baker Hostetler’s help in seeking Magnitsky’s release from the Russian police custody.

 

In 2013, in a spectacular breach of duty to the former client, Baker Hostetler switched sides and started to act for Prevezon, an alleged beneficiary of the US$230 million fraud in the lawsuit in New York brought by the US Department of Justice, and began attacking Hermitage, its former client, as part of Prevezon’s strategy.

 

Following a review of the court record, the US Court of Appeals has now instructed the district court to disqualify John Moscow and Baker Hostetler for breaching its duty of loyalty and confidentiality to their former client, Hermitage, the victim of the Russian $230 million fraud.

 

Reciting previous US court rulings, the US Court of Appeals reaffirmed that “the preservation of the confidences between lawyer and client “touches upon vital concerns of the legal profession and the public’s interest in the scrupulous administration of justice.

 

The US Court of Appeals has also upheld the rights of crime victims in seeing that their lawyers do not switch sides to represent crime perpetrators:

 

The petition here also implicates the government’s ability to procure assistance from crime victims. If crime victims fear that the attorneys they hire may turn against them, they may be less likely to assist government in its investigations.

 

In 2008, Hermitage’s lawyer Sergei Magnitsky uncovered the US$230 million fraud and testified about the complicity of Russian officials in it. He was falsely arrested by the Russian Interior Ministry, detained for 358 days without trial, tortured and killed in Russian police custody at the age of 37. After his death, Russian authorities posthumously accused Sergei Magnitsky of the crime he had uncovered and exonerated all officials. Hermitage’s global justice campaign has resulted in identifying beneficiaries of funds laundered from the crime Sergei Magnitsky uncovered and a number of proceedings around the world. Prevezon is subject to money laundering proceedings opened in the USA and Switzerland.

 

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

billbrowder.com

twitter.com/Billbrowder

 

 

 



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