Mother of Russian Anti-Corruption Lawyer Killed in Custody, Has Been Harassed in Moscow, Complaint Revealed Today
Nataliya Magnitskaya, mother of lawyer Sergei Magnitsky
3 December 2010 – The mother of Sergei Magnitsky, the Russian anti-corruption lawyer killed in police custody, has been harassed outside her home in Moscow since receiving, on behalf of her son, the 2010 Integrity Award from Transparency International two weeks ago. A team of people from the Russian television station NTV, who have interchangeably represented themselves both as realtors and as journalists, have followed Magnitsky’s mother, attempted to enter her house, carried out covert filming of her and intruded upon her with offensive questions. NTV is controlled by the Russian state-owned gas company, Gazprom.
A complaint about the abusive harassment of Sergei Magnitsky’s mother has been filed today by Sergei Magnitsky’s former partner, Jamison Firestone, with the Grand Jury of the Russian Union of Journalists (Russian version available at: http://russian-untouchables.com/docs/Letter%20to%20Journalist%20Union.pdf).
ABC News reports:
Stanislav Sutyagin was planning to sell his large black Mercedes but it now has a huge dent in its right side. He’s getting money to fix the damage, but it’s not coming from his insurance company or the driver who hit him. The government is compensating Sutyagin after Moscow cops ordered him to park his car in the middle of a five-lane highway to block a car they were chasing.
The suspects slammed into the car carrying Sutyagin and a friend, but kept on going. The traffic policemen who had ordered Sutyagin to place his car sideways, and stay in it, told him that neither he nor the other two cars in the barricade would be reimbursed for damages because the fleeing silver Audi managed to escape.
Nikolai Petrov, writing in the Moscow Times:
Last week, a precedent was set in which a governor initiated the process of removing an elected mayor from office. It happened in the Perm region, well known for its active political and civil life. It was there that Governor Oleg Chirkunov called for the removal of Yury Vostrikov, the mayor of the city of Chaikovsky. (Chirkunov was never elected to his post, having been appointed in 2004 to replace his predecessor, Yury Trutnev, who left to become natural resources minister.) An amendment to the federal law on local government proposed by President Dmitry Medvedev and passed in May served as the legal basis for the move.
Russia in the Crosshairs
Back in January of 2008, LR founder Kim Zigfeld wrote on Pajamas Media about Russia’s increasing exposure to outright condemnation in the courts of Europe. Two more recent developments show Russia sliding fast down a perilously slippery slope that leads to being cast out of Europe and classified by the world as a barbarous, third-world failed state.
The Los Angeles Times reports:
Valery Kazakov was almost to the prosecutor’s office when the killers caught him. He was shot as he cut through an alleyway, and when he stumbled bleeding into the street, a man bent down to stab the final breaths out of him.
It was 3 o’clock in the afternoon, in the heart of the sleepy town of Pushkino. As far as the townspeople were concerned, it was a public execution. Kazakov, a former police officer, was believed to have been on his way to testify in the corruption case against the former mayor.
It has been a year now, and Kazakov’s widow holds out little hope of justice, shrugging off the idea with weary skepticism. Police recently arrested the alleged killer, but that’s just a “technical detail,” Maria Kazakova says. She wants to know who put the hit on her husband, who ordered and paid for it.
Translator’s Note: Neo-Nazi Russia is putting a toe in the water to test the political mood of the country. In a supremely emetic move, it has been announced that . . .
Stalin’s Grandson Sues “Novaya Gazeta”
30 July 2009
Translated from the Russian by Dave Essel
Ekho Moskvy radio station has just broadcast the news that Stalin’s grandson, Yevgenii Dzhugashvili, has had a writ served on Novaya Gazeta, complaining about an article entitled “Beria Was the Guilty Party” published in that paper on 22 April this year. The writ is against the newspaper itself and the author of the article Anatoli Yablokov. The writ demands that the paper publish a retraction stating that Yablokov’s remarks about Stalin are baseless, untrue, and defamatory of Stalin’s honour and reputation. In particular, the plaintiff is concerned with the words: “Stalin and the Chekists are bound by great bloodshed and the worst of crimes, above all against their own people”. The plaintiff is demanding moral damages of 10 milllion roubles and also that a retraction be published. Yevgenii Dzhugashvili’s case has been accepted and will be heard by Moscow’s Basmanny District Court.
[This of course is the court whose name has become a byword for justice perverted by instructions from on high to its judges (or which simply has the most prejudiced and stupid judges in the world). The world laughs and weeps as Russia degradates.]
The foreigner-in-Russia blogging at News of the Eastern reports on a typical encounter with Russian “law enforcement” authorities. (NOTE: An average Russian is paid less than 90 rubles for each hour of work. Thus, the “little bit of money” asked for by the police as a bribe in this story amounts to more than three hours of labor, nearly half a day’s pay, for an average Russian and as such is roughly equivalent to a bribe of $60 being demanded from an average American. Imagine being asked that for, say, walking on grass with a sign to the contrary.)
Yesterday I had my first run-in with the Russian police. Unlike many of my other foreign friends, I am not routinely stopped and hassled for my documents so this was my first direct experience of the renowned MVD, although of course I’d heard thousands of stories about how corrupt the Russian police are. This time around, however, I was definitely in the wrong, although I’m not entirely sure to what extent the police were in the right either.