Russian Senators Hand In Docs on Magnitsky Case to U.S.

A group of Russian senators handed in documents to their U.S. colleagues that prove the involvement of the late lawyer Sergei Magnitsky into tax dodging scheme.

Vladimir Malkin, a Russian senator who is on a visit to the United States with a group of his colleagues, said that they had received the documents from the Prosecutor’s Office, the Federal Tax Service and the Investigative Committee that proved that Magnitsky had not received decent medical treatment in the pre-trial detention facility, though he had been put in custody on the legal grounds.

Malkin said that they presented the documents that had never been published, to their U.S. colleagues.

“It is admitted that he [Magnitsky] was not provided with the proper medical assistance. The doctor who was in charge of his treatment had not the right to do it since she was an epidemiologist,” Malkin said.

The senator however said that the British Investment Fund, Hermitage Capital where Magnitsky worked until his death in 2009, paid only 5-percent income tax instead of 35-percent one paid by foreign companies working in Russia.

“It means that William Browder [Hermitage Capital’s CEO] has stolen colossal sum of money from the Russian budget,” Malkin said, referring to Browder, a British investor who had been accused by Russian authorities of underpaying more than two billion rubles ($72 million) in back taxes and banned from entering Russia on national security grounds in 2006.

The senators, who met in Washington with the U.S. top congressmen, however were denied of meeting with Ben Cardin, the author of the Sergei Magnitsky Rule of Law Accountability Act of 2011 that would penalize Russian officials linked with Magnitsky’s jailing and death, as well as other human rights abusers in Russia.

Malkin dismissed the version that Magnitsky had been arrested because he had uncovered a high-profile corruption ring among the officials, calling it “a complete nonsense.”

“We was arrested in a strict compliance with law…there should have been at least ten people who must have been be arrested in connection to this case,” Malkin said, adding that all the members of Browder’s team, except Magnitsky, managed to escape Russia when the tax evasion case had been opened.

Magnitsky was arrested in November 2008, days after accusing police investigators and tax ministry officials of involvement in a $230 million tax refund fraud. He died after almost a year in a pre-trial detention center in Moscow.

A probe into his death revealed that the lawyer, who was suffering from untreated pancreatitis and a heart condition, did not receive proper medical treatment. Rights activists pointed to multiple violations of his rights during his arrest and detention, including signs that he was beaten by prison guards hours before his death.

 

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