Sunday

19th Nov 2017

Investigation

European rights body to debate Magnitsky report

  • Paris skyline: Russian MPs have pledged to water down the resolution (Photo: Moyan Brenn)

The Council of Europe, the Strasbourg-based human rights watchdog, will on Wednesday (4 September) in Paris debate a damning resolution on the Magnitsky affair, with Russian delegates pledging to attack the text.

The resolution, drafted by Swiss centre-left MP Andrea Gross in June, accuses Russian authorities of orchestrating the death in pre-trial detention, of Sergei Magnitsky, a Russian auditor, who exposed a mafia-related scam to embezzle the Russian taxman.

Thank you for reading EUobserver!

Subscribe now for a 30 day free trial.

  1. €150 per year
  2. or €15 per month
  3. Cancel anytime

EUobserver is an independent, not-for-profit news organization that publishes daily news reports, analysis, and investigations from Brussels and the EU member states. We are an indispensable news source for anyone who wants to know what is going on in the EU.

We are mainly funded by advertising and subscription revenues. As advertising revenues are falling fast, we depend on subscription revenues to support our journalism.

For group, corporate or student subscriptions, please contact us. See also our full Terms of Use.

If you already have an account click here to login.

"There is no doubt that some of the causes of Mr Magnitsky's death were created deliberately, by identifiable persons," his report says.

It calls for the council's 47 member states to impose "intelligent sanctions" on Russian officials implicated in his death.

It also urges Moscow to help Europol and financial sleuths from six EU states to investigate the money laundering trail linked to the scam.

Russian MPs on the legal affairs and human rights committee of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe have indicated they will try to water down the text before it is officially adopted, however.

Alexei Pushkov, an MP from Russian President Vladimir Putin's United Russia party told the Russian parliament, the Duma, on 25 June: "We will try to influence its content. The first page of the resolution announces Magnitsky as a fighter against corruption which he never was."

He added that the cause of Magnitsky's death "has not been determined."

A second United Russia Russian MP in the council, Alexander Sidyakin, in June also told Russian media that Gross' report is "biased."

He compared Magnitsky's to the late Serbian dictator, Slobodan Milosevic, who died in a cell in the UN's International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia in The Hague in 2006.

"To examine the death of the particular person in detention … is a banal topic. Milosevic also died in detention, because help was not provided to him," he told Gazeta.ru.

EUobserver investigative reports

"The Magnitsky Affair" is the latest in a series of EUobserver investigative reports. It looks at what the EU is really willing to do to confront Russian human rights abuses on its doorstep.

News in Brief

  1. Bonn climate talks extend into Friday evening
  2. UK needs to move on Brexit by early December, Tusk says
  3. Puigdemont extradition decision postponed to December
  4. Ireland wants written UK guarantees to avoid hard border
  5. US did not obstruct climate talks, says German minister
  6. EU signs social declaration
  7. Puigdemont to be heard by Belgian judges
  8. Steep fall in migrants reaching EU

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. European Jewish CongressAntisemitism in Europe Today: Is It Still a Threat to Free and Open Society?
  2. Counter BalanceNew Report: Juncker Plan Backs Billions in Fossil Fuels and Carbon-Heavy Infrastructure
  3. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic countries prioritise fossil fuel subsidy reform
  4. Mission of China to the EUNew era for China brings new opportunities to all
  5. ACCASmall and Medium Sized Practices Must 'Offer the Whole Package'
  6. UNICEFAhead of the African Union - EU Summit, Survey Highlights Impact of Conflict on Education
  7. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Council Calls for Closer Co-Operation on Foreign Policy
  8. Swedish EnterprisesTrilogue Negotiations - Striking the Balance Between Transparency and Efficiency
  9. Access EuropeProspects for US-EU Relations Under the Trump Administration - 28 November 2017
  10. World Vision20 November: Exchange of Views at the EP on Children Affected by the Syria Crisis
  11. Nordic Council of MinistersSustainable Growth the Nordic Way: Climate Solutions for a Sustainable Future
  12. EU2017EEHow Data Fuels Estonia's Economy

Latest News

  1. EU keeps former Soviet states at arm's length
  2. EU leaders make pledge on social issues after populist backlash
  3. EU agencies and eastern neighbours This WEEK
  4. Germany slams Dutch call for more ambitious EU climate goal
  5. Mind the gap: inequality in our cities
  6. Climate activists 'disappointed' with EU at climate talks
  7. Davis outlines UK vision on Brexit in Berlin
  8. German coalition talks in near collapse