Monday, 11 July 2011

Progress in the Sergei Magnitsky case?

 Inside Russia reports about about some possible progress in the Sergei Magnitsky case (the anti-corruption lawyer who exposed a major scam after which he was tortured and killed in a Russian prison):

The Russian lawyer who once worked for a U.S. investment fund died after a brutal beating from prison guards, the presidential council on human rights confirmed last week. Investigators, prison doctors, prosecutors and judges are all responsible for the death of the Hermitage Capital fund lawyer, the Presidential Council on Human Rights also found.

Their findings have international implications, as the case is seen as another litmus test for how the Kremlin can handle cases of alleged official corruption and abuses of power. In death, Magnitsky has become an international cause celebre: The 37-year-old lawyer died alone in prison in November 2009. He had accused officials of tax fraud before his arrest..
Describing the findings of the presidential council, observers have cautiously said that “the ice has been broken.” Every major television channel reported on the conclusions reached by the human rights defenders after previously ignoring the Magnitsky case. “The fact that the Magnitsky case is being reviewed at this level offers a chance that somebody will be punished, although I’m afraid that not everyone will be,” Yevgeny Arkhipov, the president of the Association of Russian Lawyers for Human Rights, told the Kommersant newspaper.

Read the entire article here


At first sight this seems like good news, but probably even cautious optimism is to expect too much. We all know the power of the corrupted security services mafia in Russia. When their people are involved - and they are in this case - the real culprits will most certainly go unpunished.

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