News / Europe

Russian Whistleblower Posthumously Convicted

A tombstone on the grave of lawyer Sergei Magnitsky, who died in jail, at a cemetery in Moscow, November 2012.
A tombstone on the grave of lawyer Sergei Magnitsky, who died in jail, at a cemetery in Moscow, November 2012.
VOA News
A Moscow court has convicted lawyer Sergei Magnitsky of tax evasion, more than three years after he died in jail, in a case that strained U.S.-Russian ties. The American founder of the investment fund that employed Magnitsky was also convicted and sentenced in absentia.

Magnitsky was convicted along with his former boss, Hermitage Capital Management founder William Browder, who was sentenced in absentia to nine years in a prison colony.

Browder described the verdict as a "shameful moment for Russia." In an interview with VOA's Russian Service, Browder said he won't be satisfied until officials implicated in Magnitsky's death face trial.

"I think that what this shows you is the entire apparatus of Russian law enforcement and the Russian judiciary system is corrupt," said Browder. "That just about everybody is involved in crimes or involved in covering up the crimes or basically guilty of not saying anything when other people are doing the crimes."

Magnitsky, in his work with Hermitage, accused Russian law enforcement and tax officials of taking part in a scheme to fraudulently collect refunds for taxes that the company paid in Russia, totaling $230 million.

He was subsequently arrested on tax evasion charges. Magnitsky died in prison in 2009 at age 37, after being detained for nearly a year and saying he was denied medical attention.

In 2011, an investigation by then Russian President Dmitry Medvedev's human rights council found that Magnitsky, who had pancreatitis, had been "completely deprived" of medical care before his death. It added there was "reasonable suspicion" to believe Magnitsky's death was triggered by a beating.

The case became a symbol of alleged prison abuse in modern Russian and led to a fresh dispute between Moscow and Washington.

The U.S. enacted the Magnitsky Act, imposing a visa ban and financial sanctions on Russian officials accused of human rights violations.  

Russian President Vladimir Putin then quickly signed a law banning Americans from adopting Russian children.

You May Like

DRC Tries Mega-Farms to Feed Population

Park at Boukanga Lonzo currently has 5,000 hectares under cultivation, crops stretching as far as eye can see, and is start of ambitious large-scale agriculture plan More

Video Survivor Video Testimonies Recount Horrors of Guatemalan Genocide

During a conflict that spanned more than three decades, tens of thousands of indigenous Mayans were killed More

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Areas are spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, source of livelihood for fishermen and herders who have called the marshes home for generations More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Gennady from: Russia, Volga Region
July 11, 2013 11:47 AM
With the “court of law's” verdict, the worse to the truth, the better for the world public opinion to comprehend what is the level of absurdity and lawlessness in Russia under Mr. Putin. The trial has become unprecedented in entire history of Russia and has been the second in ALL WORLD HISTORY to the trial of the body of Oliver Cromwell in XVII century. As the mother of late S. Magnitsky was in opposition to the trial, the trial has even been held against the Russia's Constitutional Court’s ruling of July 2011 because the ruling had been intended to allow families of late defendants to seek exoneration BUT NOT TO CONVICT those who were already DEAD.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOAi
X
August 31, 2015 2:17 AM
Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOA

Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Iraq's southern wetlands are in crisis. These areas are the spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, and source of livelihood for fishermen and herders. Faith Lapidus has more.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Rebuilding New Orleans' Music Scene

Ten years after Hurricane Katrina inundated New Orleans, threatening to wash away its vibrant musical heritage along with its neighborhoods, the beat goes on. As Bronwyn Benito and Faith Lapidus report, a Musicians' Village is preserving the city's unique sound.
Video

Video In Russia, Auto Industry in Tailspin

Industry insiders say country relies too heavily on imports as inflation cuts too many consumers out of the market. Daniel Schearf has more from Moscow.
Video

Video Scientist Calls Use of Fetal Tissue in Medical Research Essential

An anti-abortion group responsible for secret recordings of workers at a women's health care organization claims the workers shown are offering baby parts for sale, a charge the organization strongly denies. While the selling of fetal tissue is against the law in the United States, abortion and the use of donated fetal tissue for medical research are both legal. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.

VOA Blogs