When I opened my law firm, Firestone Duncan, in Moscow in 1993, I was aware of the dangers of doing business in Russia. The stories about "mafia" groups of tracksuited thugs extorting businesses were well known to me. What I never expected was that the Russian mafia would merge with the government; its members are now the same officials who are supposed to be protecting the public. (...)
The scale of the crime and the coverup is truly astounding. It directly involves the Russian deputy interior minister, the deputy general prosecutor, the head of the economic counterespionage unit of the secret police, the heads of Moscow Tax Offices 25 and 28, and a dozen judges, as well as hundreds of functionaries throughout the system. But the Kremlin has shown little willingness to prosecute this case. Instead, Medvedev has tried to deflect attention away from it and portray Sergei's case as an important investigation of Russian prison conditions after a possible death in detention due to "negligence."
As this farce plays out, Medevedev continues to make reassuring statements that he is serious about fighting corruption, that the rule of law is sound, and that international investors have nothing to fear in Russia. It is clear that the Kremlin is prepared to let things lie.
"The Russian Untouchables" video gives more detailed information about the case Firestone is describing in his article.
"Watch Russian tax officials who stole $230 million from their people getting $43 million richer. See them buying multi-million dollar properties on Palm Jumeriah in Dubai, in Montenegro and Moscow, and getting payments to their Swiss bank accounts and offshore firms. Russian authorities refused to investigate the $230 million theft and declared these tax officials honest victims. Sergei Magnitsky, a 37-year anti-corruption lawyer who exposed their scam, was tortured and killed".
US defense secretary Robert Gates has, according to leaked cables described Russia as “an oligarchy run by the security services”. The Sergei Magnitsky case is further proof that Gates is right. Putin´s Russia is a rotten, corrupted, criminal mafia state, which should be thrown out from all democratic organisations and fora. But Europe´s leaders and the Obama administration still treat the third rate KGB spy Vladmir Putin and his puppet president Medvedev as respected colleagues. Putin´s Russia is EU´s (and soon apparently also NATO´s) revered "strategic partner". Obama considers the "reset" with this mafia state a high priority.
This behavior by the Western countries is shameful and should be condemned by all decent people!