Russia probes Hermitage Capital boss – Magnitsky affair continues
Russian authorities are launching an investigation into the business activity of William B, the head of Hermitage Capital, and former employer of Sergei Magnitsky who died in prison at the end of 2009, Russian news portal RT.com reported March 5.
“Browder will be put on the international wanted list immediately after criminal charges are officially brought against him, said Russian Interior Ministry official Mikhail Aleksandrov” said, according to RT.com.
The Interior Ministry will investigate whether Browder illegally acquired Russian LNG giant Gazprom’s shares, causing the company to lose some RUB 3 bln (USD 98 mln).
British businessman William B first came into the spotlight when Hermitage’s Moscow offices were raided by the police in 2007. Important documents and company ‘seals’ were reprimanded and subsequently used to reportedly steal USD 230 mln in company funds.
Hermitage hired Russian lawyer Segei Magnitsky, to investigate the crime. He implicated several officials from the Russian Interior Ministry and was promptly arrested, allegedly by the very institution that he had discredited.
Magnisky died in prison in November 2009, after being badly treated and reportedly not given medicine required to get better.
The Russian prosecutor’s office has also accused Magnitsky and William B of tax evasion to the tune of RUB 522 mln (USD 17 mln).
Magnitsky will be tried post-mortem.