The financial industry in Russia has been at the centre of corruption allegations recently as critics accuse the authorities of “plundering the state”. Andreas Gross, a Swiss MP has been at the forefront of the corruption allegations and presented a report speaking of the death of anti-corruption campaigner Sergei Magnitsky. Magnitsky, who worked as a lawyer, died four years ago and diplomatic tensions rose dramatically after the incident. At the time of his death, Magnitsky was working for Hermitage Capital Management, the UK hedge fund group. He alleged that he has uncovered a $230 million fraud against the Russian taxpayer and went public with the information.
Following his revelations, Magnitsky was sent to prison by the very same police officers who he had named as being involved in the scandal. After developing pancreatitis in prison, being beaten by the officers and then denied any medical attention, he soon died in his cell. The report by Andreas Gross, who is also a member of the Socialist Group of the Parliamentary Assembly, points the finger at several state officials in prominent positions of power. The consequences of the incident, and the aftermath, have been far reaching throughout the US and Russia. Many businesses and important trade relations have already been affected and the US has also blocked visas and frozen assets of those they believe to be involved. Upwards of 60 Russian citizens have been linked to the death. In response to the US reaction to the incident, the government in Moscow imposed new regulations banning citizens of America from adopting children from Russia.
Although the incident took place over four years ago, nobody involved has yet been held accountable and investigations are ongoing. The latest report from Andreas Gross urges the Russian government to “fully investigate the circumstances and background” of the death. He is especially keen to uncover why there is no CCTV footage available from the prison in question on the day of the death.
Hermitage Capital Management is a leading global investment advisory firm who specialize in emerging markets. The company was established in 1996 by William Browder and they have won numerous awards around the world for their long term performance.