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starbucks4ever (97.79)

Hermitage lawyer dies in Russian jail

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November 17, 2009 – Comments (7)


http://online.wsj.com/article/SB125845597654851913.html 

MOSCOW -- A lawyer for investment fund Hermitage Capital Management, jailed on tax charges related to his work for the fund, has died in custody, Irina Dudukina, spokeswoman for the Investigative Committee of Russia's Interior Ministry said Tuesday.

She provided no further details, saying a release would be issued later. Sergei Magnitsky and his colleagues had accused authorities of denying him necessary medical treatment in prison.

Mr. Magnitsky, a 37-year-old partner at Moscow firm Firestone Duncan, was jailed nearly a year ago on charges of tax evasion related to his work for Hermitage. At a court hearing on extending his detention in September, he complained that he had been denied medical treatment for weeks for serious stomach pancreatic illnesses that he hadn't suffered from before his imprisonment. He also complained of inhumane conditions -- including the absence of toilet, hot water and windows -- at the Butyrskaya jail where he was then being held.

"They held him for 11 months, asking him to fabricate testimony against Hermitage," said Jamison Firestone, managing partner of Firestone Duncan. "The more he refused, the worse his conditions became."

If convicted of tax fraud, Mr. Magnitsky would have faced up to six years in prison. Russian officials have denied pressuring Mr. Magnitsky for testimony.

Hermitage, run by U.S.-born investor William Browder, denies the tax-evasion charges. The fund has accused officials of the Russian Interior Ministry of using documents and seals taken from Hermitage during a 2007 search to steal companies used by the fund and apply for $230 million in fraudulent tax refunds from the Russian government. The ministry denies those charges.

Mr. Browder was one of the best-known foreign investors in Russia, with a reputation for publicly crusading against waste and mismanagement at Russia state-controlled companies. But Russian authorities stripped him of his visa in 2005 on national-security grounds and he hasn't been able to return since. The Interior Ministry says he's been charged with tax evasion, allegations he denies. 

7 Comments – Post Your Own

#1) On November 17, 2009 at 10:27 AM, ChrisGraley (29.68) wrote:

Wow!

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#2) On November 17, 2009 at 10:35 AM, starbucks4ever (97.79) wrote:

AndreylikesMTL, do you still think Mechel is the best investment idea ever?

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#3) On November 17, 2009 at 11:58 AM, russiangambit (29.36) wrote:

Yep, in Russia you don't go to jail , you run before. Guilty or not guilty , it is not going to matter. There is no fair trial in Russia. As soon as you are in danger of getting on a crash path with the authorities you either pay them off or run.

When I am in Russia, I cross the street if I see militia (russian police). The farther you are from the local "law" enforcement, the better you are.

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#4) On November 17, 2009 at 12:05 PM, AndreylikesMTL (95.40) wrote:

I do, don’t worry about it.

Out of my 290 MTL is has the top score (today moved to #2)

 

As for digging trash on Russia. (Country you came from)

Do you think Americans will respect you more for it?

They are not that stupid.

They know you will sell them as easy, if opportunity comes alone.

Good luck digging

Andrey

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#5) On November 17, 2009 at 12:06 PM, AndreylikesMTL (95.40) wrote:

I do, don’t worry about it.

Out of my 290 MTL is has the top score (today moved to #2)

 

As for digging trash on Russia. (Country you came from)

Do you think Americans will respect you more for it?

They are not that stupid.

They know you will sell them as easy, if opportunity comes alone.

Good luck digging

Andrey

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#6) On November 17, 2009 at 5:13 PM, AndreylikesMTL (95.40) wrote:

Sorry Zloj

I think I overreacted.

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#7) On November 17, 2009 at 7:09 PM, starbucks4ever (97.79) wrote:

AndreylikesMTL,

There are many good things about Russia, some of which I was happy to mention in earlier posts. I hope Putin ends his career in Hague jail sooner rather than later so that I can report more success stories and less news about corruption. As for earning respect from Americans, yes, stubborn patriotism can earn you some points among some audiences, but in the Caps community you earn more respect by remaining faithful to facts. 

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