Thursday, July 11, 2013

Death and taxes

Go together, in Russia, like Putin and corruption, and one is not safe even when in the grave;
The late Russian lawyer Sergei Magnitsky has been found guilty of tax fraud by a Moscow court.
Magnitsky was arrested in 2008 after accusing officials of tax fraud, but was later himself accused of the crime.
....In the same trial, William Browder, CEO of Hermitage Capital Management which Magnitsky represented, was also found guilty of tax fraud.
....It is believed to be the first time in Soviet or Russian history that a defendant was tried posthumously.
....Employed as an auditor for Hermitage, Magnitsky uncovered what he described as a web of corruption involving Russian tax officials, including the alleged theft of more than $200m (£125m).
After reporting the allegations to the authorities, he was himself detained on suspicion of helping Hermitage evade $17.4m in taxes. 
This has already produced a diplomatic brouhaha, resulting in an act of congress;
... the Magnitsky Act, blacklisting Russian officials accused of human rights violations, including those linked to the case.
In response, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a law barring Americans from adopting Russian orphans.

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