News / Europe

Russia Rules No Crime in Magnitsky Probe

A tombstone on the grave of lawyer Sergei Magnitsky who died in jail, at a cemetery in Moscow, Nov. 16, 2012.
A tombstone on the grave of lawyer Sergei Magnitsky who died in jail, at a cemetery in Moscow, Nov. 16, 2012.
VOA News
Russian investigators have ended their probe into the death of Sergei Magnitsky, the lawyer who died in prison in 2009 after accusing Russian officials of large-scale embezzlement of tax money, saying he suffered no abuse while incarcerated.
 
Russia's Investigative Committee said Tuesday that it had closed its investigation into Magnitsky's death because it found no evidence he was subjected either to "special conditions" or to "physical abuse or torture" in prison. It said he died of cardiac failure.
 
Magnitsky, a lawyer who worked for Hermitage Capital Management, which was the largest Western investment firm operating in Russia, accused Russian law enforcement and tax officials of a scheme by which they fraudulently received refunds for taxes that Hermitage paid in Russia, totaling $230 million.
 
Magnitsky was subsequently arrested on charges of tax evasion. He died in prison 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.
 
A report by Hermitage Capital Management founder William Browder that year claimed Magnitsky died about an hour after being beaten by prison guards.
 
Magnitsky's case became a symbol of alleged prison abuse in modern Russian and led to a fresh dispute between Moscow and Washington.
 
The United States 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.
 
Thursday's announcement that the probe into Magnitsky's death had been closed came less than 24 hours after prosecutors in the southwestern U.S. state of Texas said they would not charge a couple in the death of a three-year-old adopted boy from Russia.
 
Some information for this report was provided by Reuters.

You May Like

Turkey's Controversial Reform Bill Giving Investors Jitters

Homeland security reform bill will give police new powers in search, seizure, detention and arrests, while restricting the rights of suspects, their attorneys More

Audio Slideshow In Kenyan Prison, Good Grades Are Path to Freedom

Some inmates who get high marks could see their sentences commuted to non-custodial status More

Ali Regained Title in Historic Fight 40 Years Ago

'The Champ' knocked Foreman out to regain crown he had lost 7 years earlier when US government accused him of draft-dodging and boxing officials revoked his license More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Victorious Secularists Face Challenge to Form Government in Tunisiai
X
Henry Ridgwell
October 30, 2014 11:39 PM
Official results from Tunisia show the Islamist Ennahda party has failed to win the second free election since the so-called "Arab Spring" uprising in 2011. Ennahda, which handed power to a government of technocrats pending the elections, lost out to the secular party Nidaa Tounes. Henry Ridgwell reports from London that the relatively peaceful poll offers some hope in a volatile region.
Video

Video Victorious Secularists Face Challenge to Form Government in Tunisia

Official results from Tunisia show the Islamist Ennahda party has failed to win the second free election since the so-called "Arab Spring" uprising in 2011. Ennahda, which handed power to a government of technocrats pending the elections, lost out to the secular party Nidaa Tounes. Henry Ridgwell reports from London that the relatively peaceful poll offers some hope in a volatile region.
Video

Video Africa Tells its Story Through Fashion

In Africa, Fashion Week is a riot of colors, shapes, patterns and fabrics - against the backdrop of its ongoing struggle between nature and its fast-growing urban edge. How do these ideas translate into needle and thread? VOA’s Anita Powell visited this year’s Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Africa in Johannesburg to find out.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.

All About America

AppleAndroid