Russia’s Perversion of Justice

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While Magnitsky rotted away in prison, the officials he had testified against grew staggeringly rich. On a government salary, they boasted foreign bank accounts, vacation villas in Dubai, and million dollar estates in Moscow. The head of the interior ministry’s tax office, Olga Stepanaova, gained $39 million as part of the $230 million tax rebate that Magnitsky uncovered. As a result, $11 million in cash was registered in Swiss bank accounts under her husband’s name, even as her mother-in-law, a pensioner, was the registered owner of a $28 million estate in Moscow. Lieutenant Colonel Artyom Kuznetsov, who had ordered the 2007 raid on Firestone and Hermitage’s offices, also registered million-dollar residences for his pensioner parents and bought luxury cars, as did his colleague at the interior ministry, Major Pavel Karpov. Notably, both Kuznetsov and Karpov had previously been accused of corruption in another case that saw a man sentenced to 11 years in prison on trumped-up fraud charges.

Magnitsky’s plight generated so much outrage that even the Russian government acknowledged wrongdoing. A Russian investigative government body concluded that police, prison officials and doctors shared the blame for Magnitsky’s untimely death, and last July Russian president Demitry Medvedev endorsed that conclusion.

Yet little has been done to win justice for Magintsky and his family. Although a government committee has said that the prison doctors and interrogators should be investigated, no such investigation has been forthcoming. Instead, interior ministry officials are trying to reopen the case against him. Magnitsky’s family has refused to participate in the proceedings, which they consider illegal and which they plausibly suspect are intended to absolve the same interior ministry officials who caused his death. Undaunted, the ministry forcibly removed the family’s lawyer last month and imposed a state lawyer on them.

If the trial is allowed to take place, it will be the second time that Magnitsky will be unable to defend himself in a court of law. It would be difficult to come up with a more damning verdict on Russian corruption than the fact that the state no longer even requires defendants to be alive to face the farce that passes for official justice.

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  • Alexander Gofen

    Magnitsky is a heroic martyr of injustice and catastrophic corruption consuming Russia. This is a tragic news indeed, but alas, no news when Russia is at issue…

    Yet covering the "Perversion of Justice" in Russia: How come that the editors have given no coverage to the recent trial right here, in Georgia, January 26, 2012? The trial which will enter the historical records as a disgrace of Justice, or may be the end of it.

    Unable to dismiss again the case of Obama's ineligibility without hearing as before (thanks to specifics of Georgia laws), a judicial hearing in merits did happen in an administrative court of Georgia. The first such hearing since 2008. Three groups of Georgian plaintiffs claimed that Obama must not be on Georgia ballots because he is not qualified to run for the US president. He is not qualified because:

    – He has two other nationalities – incompatible with being US natural born citizen;

    – His officially posted copy of the full birth certificate was a coarse forgery, he unlawfully uses unassigned SS number, and has multiple names (Obama, Soetoro, Soebercah).

    The defendant Obama was served subpoenas to appear on court and to bring the originals of the supporting documentation.

    Neither the defendant, nor his attorney did show up – in contempt of the court. Nor did they submit any documentation. (That alone normally means that the plaintiffs win). In addition, plaintiffs' attorney Dr. Taitz brought witnesses and professionals who testified that the SS number is invalid and the posted copy was a forgery – the expertise was submitted to this court and earlier to FBI.

    How much American justice must be twisted if the "judge" rules in favor of the defendant – under such circumstances?!! And moreover: if the electors have no standing for judicial hearing of legitimacy of their elected official already for 4 years!

    All the above seems to be not enough "perversion of justice" to fit the print of Front Page…

    More on the topic here, here and here.

    • joy52

      The story is getting out. Will take a few years, but it will be told.

      • Alexander Gofen

        In a few years this story will be useful only for historians studying the demise of this former "bright city on the hill", and the desperate attempts of a few patriots to save the honor of this former great nation …

        This story is not allowed to get out already during 4 long shameful years. Where is the journalistic integrity and honesty?

  • David

    The Russians, as well as all Israel-haters will get their earthly justice settled at Armegeddon very soon…not to mention the terrible condemnation each will encounter in front of the Great White Throne of justice where Christ will send them to eternal hell mentionned in Revelation chap 20 in the Bible.
    The perverted heart of man will never change, nor will his hatred and exploitation of others. The Godless Russians are only an example of what goes on globally.

  • Brujo Blanco

    In every socialist society there are elites. They will claim to be in charge of an equal society but in fact the elites are more equal than anyone else. Putting a dead man on trial is apparently a move to avert attention from people who have done wrong.

  • Steve Chavez

    Anybody for a "Siberian Spring?" It is no wonder that Putin won't support any meaningful sanctions against Syria since he will resort to slaughering his own people soon!

  • StephenD

    There is no legal justice in Russia. If there were don't you think there would have been at least one case brought against the former (What a joke) Soviets that raped their countrymen? Not ONE was ever brought up on charges. Probably because though the name has changed the game (and the players) remains the same.
    You only have to look as far as their former KGB Chief Vladimir Putin. What a farce!

  • sidefillippe

    Remind me of those 50 million babies killed before they can see the light of the day in the US.

  • Ghostwriter

    I think this may be done to frighten those who might dissent from what Putin and Company wants. This'll be amazing. A dead person on trial. I'd love to see how they pull this off.