While working for Hermitage Capital, formerly one of Russia’s largest foreign investment firms, Magnitsky uncovered a massive fraud and accused Russian police and tax officials of embezzling $230 million from the Russian treasury. For the “crime” of holding his own government accountable, Magnitsky was jailed, tortured, denied medical care, and finally beaten to death in his prison cell.
The trial would have begun on Monday, but Magnitsky’s family and lawyers have boycotted this travesty of justice. Amnesty International calls Magnitsky’s upcoming posthumous trial “Kafkaesque,” “farcical,” and a “dangerous precedent.” It appears that the Russian government will once again abuse the courts to attack the opposition and discredit the U.S. law named after Magnitsky, which Congress passed last December.
Magnitsky was the last in a long line of Russian whistleblowers and political opponents who died or were put in jail. His case is unique, however, because Congress passed the Magnitsky Act in his honor. The law levies financial sanctions and U.S. travel restrictions on the officials implicated in his death and other human rights abuses...READ MORE