The Magnitsky Myth & Other Keys
to the Geopolitical Hoax of the Century – Page 1
Human Rights Activism as the New "Refuge of the Scoundrel"
"Russian girls would throw themselves
at you – and into your bed – almost upon meeting. There was no
sport to it at all, no chase, no courting,” according to
con-man Bill Browder and/or his ghost-writer –
potraying times before Browder was barred from entering
main-man shares how he courts the press: “Originally, we would
give one reporter the whole story. They would want to check every
bit of it out, get the other side’s point of view, or ignore it,
seeing this as too complicated and time consuming to pursue. Now
we give a small piece of the story to a journalist and let them
know that we’ll give it to someone else in three days if they
don’t write anything. It seems that journalists are more concerned
about losing the story to a competitor than almost anything else.”
Hermitage Capital’s main-man shares how he courts the press: “Originally, we would give one reporter the whole story. They would want to check every bit of it out, get the other side’s point of view, or ignore it, seeing this as too complicated and time consuming to pursue. Now we give a small piece of the story to a journalist and let them know that we’ll give it to someone else in three days if they don’t write anything. It seems that journalists are more concerned about losing the story to a competitor than almost anything else.”
master of media relations, Browder appears less comfortable
speaking under oath. A February 3, 2015 video shows him barrelling
into a woman, scrambling through a waiting car, then jogging off
down a slushy New York City street in a failed attempt to avoid a
subpoena. With Browder this night is friend Juleanna Glover
– a lobbyist who, (as did shadow-player, lawyer and
lobbyist+, Jonathan Winer), helped advance his dishonest
"Magnitsky Act" agenda through Washington, DC's political
Confident he’s master of media relations, Browder appears less comfortable speaking under oath. A February 3, 2015 video shows him barrelling into a woman, scrambling through a waiting car, then jogging off down a slushy New York City street in a failed attempt to avoid a subpoena. With Browder this night is friend Juleanna Glover – a lobbyist who, (as did shadow-player, lawyer and lobbyist+, Jonathan Winer), helped advance his dishonest "Magnitsky Act" agenda through Washington, DC's political corridors.
Monies flowed into PR/strategy outfits: the
Ashcroft Group (co-founded by Glover and former US Attorney
General John Ashcroft); Margery Kraus' APCO Worldwide;
and Orion Strategies LLC. Appearing to be in the role of
unregistered lobbyist, Kyle Parker, operating out of Senator Ben
Cardin's office, is another key player behind-the-scenes. Mikhail
Khodorkovsky, like Browder, an opportunistic white collar criminal
notorious from the post-Soviet Union plunder years, also heavily
invested in lobbying.
When the US needed to end the "Jackson-Vanik amendment to the
Trade Act of 1974" a tool to serve
their self-interest, (incl. impunity for Hermitage+), was
devised in the Magnitsky act.
Monies flowed into PR/strategy outfits: the Ashcroft Group (co-founded by Glover and former US Attorney General John Ashcroft); Margery Kraus' APCO Worldwide; and Orion Strategies LLC. Appearing to be in the role of unregistered lobbyist, Kyle Parker, operating out of Senator Ben Cardin's office, is another key player behind-the-scenes. Mikhail Khodorkovsky, like Browder, an opportunistic white collar criminal notorious from the post-Soviet Union plunder years, also heavily invested in lobbying. When the US needed to end the "Jackson-Vanik amendment to the Trade Act of 1974" a tool to serve their self-interest, (incl. impunity for Hermitage+), was devised in the Magnitsky act.
Mikhail Khodorkovsky and Bill Browder, a pair of white collar cons – each with associations to members of Canada's Ofelas Group – expended nearly half-a-million $US (disclosed payments) lobbying effort. Follow this link to read further details of how a campaign premised on lies has led to enactment of laws in the USA and Canada+
Juleanna Glover is better known for her stint as press secretary
to Dick Cheney, former Halliburton-exec-and-US-VP, whose
administration's orchestration of the catastrophic invasion of Iraq
earlier this century
– leaving an est. one million people dead and 7.6 million
included use of
"faulty and fraudulent" intell claims re
Juleanna Glover is better known for her stint as press secretary to Dick Cheney, former Halliburton-exec-and-US-VP, whose administration's orchestration of the catastrophic invasion of Iraq earlier this century – leaving an est. one million people dead and 7.6 million displaced – included use of "faulty and fraudulent" intell claims re WMDs+.
Private investigator Nicholas Casale succeeds in serving the legal papers – catching Browder at 6:44 pm as he leaves Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show” taping (to promote his book, a ripping yarn about an evil empire and the tragic death of an accountant, Sergei Magnitsky). The thrill of the chase is evident in Casale Associates’ YouTube clip and this sporting encounter leads to a first date, (April 15, 2015), for Bill Browder – to be deposed by lawyer Mark Cymrot of BakerHostetler (the Prevezon case).
Under-oath #1 – no accounting for Sergei Magnitsky and Yakir Daniel Sha'ashoua (alt. spellings incl. Jakir, Shasoua, Sha’ashua + variants) in Bill Browder-fed-fantasy
And so begins this series to let Bill Browder’s own words and deeds, and those of his team and network(s), dispel “The Magnitsky Myth”. BB et al's false narrative is sunk by court, corporate and other official source documents.
Shredded – Browder's credibility, and key elements of the Magnitsky myth, in his first video-taped deposition – April 15, 2015 – full transcript of which can be viewed/downloaded by clicking the image above
American government investigators chose to rely upon Browder and co. falsities – click on the above image to read more (in Russian and then English language)
The Hermitage narrative undone. To learn more about this exploding-cigar of a case rolled by Browder's team + lit by Preet Bharara, then US Attorney for the Southern District of New York (SDNY) – click on the above image. For the full court docket, click here
On three separate occasions – once in the UK, once in Russia, and once, most recently, in the USA – elements of con-man Browder and co.’s Magnitsky story have been examined in a court of law. Each time it's been found lacking a credible evidentiary basis. The hoax persists due to a geopolitical narrative and a failure of due diligence.
A foundational cornerstone of the Magnitsky myth is the Council of Europe (COE) / Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) report “Refusing impunity for the killers of Sergei Magnitsky”. This report’s touted by Hermitage forces as an authoritative examination of the Magnitsky case – and it’s relied upon by lawmakers in the USA+ as justification for “Magnitsky laws”, sanctions etc. However, US District Judge Hn. William H. Pauley III examined this filing of Rapporteur Andreas Gross / Head of the Secretariat Günter Schirmer. Judge Pauley found it "suffers from a lack of trustworthiness" and it’s not acceptable as evidence. See attached court filing pages - click on the four images above.
NB Günter Schirmer’s engaged in legerdemain which becomes clearly visible in Spring 2016 after questions are raised about deceptive translations. It’s a clever bit of “papering over” matters – however, documents to be posted and analyzed later on this site's "Page 6" reveal how this trick’s executed. It’s evident from statements to the TAX3 Committee on 29.01.2019 European parliamentarians+ continue to be misled today.
As, and if, time allows, I’ll draw from my own
files – for a prequel of sorts – tracing Bill Browder’s path from
protégé of press-baron Robert Maxwell (prior to “The Bouncing
Czech”s mysterious death-by-drowning in ’91) and billionaire
Edmond Safra (before the banker’s mysterious
death-by-smoke-inhalation in ’99) to his own turn at the helm.
Safra seeded Hermitage and his Republic National Bank of
New York was involved with more than a dozen dodgy deals on
I gave up active investigations of financial swindlers et al 20 years ago – my final case revealing the presence of Russian 'mafiya' money behind YBM Magnex International Inc. - which, at its peak in 1997/98, had a market cap of CDN $1billion on the Toronto Stock Exchange (and then went to $zero). David Peterson, former Ontario Premier, was among the directors of YBM before it was publicly exposed as a fraud and a front for Russian money-laundering.
BBC's "Panorama" television program did a major feature on Semion Mogilevitch, (“The Billion Dollar Don”), the eminence grise behind this and other North American paper-plays (alt. spellings incl. Semeon + Mogilevich). Here’s a link to the documentary cued up to the TSE/Canadian segment:
Findings of "Operation SWORD,
which was a development package passed from the
National Criminal Intelligence Service
(NCIS) to the
South East Regional Crime Squad’s
Money Laundering Investigation Team on 9th December 1994 for
concerned the activities in the Click on
thumbnails to see full text.
Click on thumbnails to see full text.
Exposing corruption can be
less-than-cheering work – and, so, it’s with huge pleasure that a
recent return to this territory has introduced me to an inspiring
person – the sort of journalist that I’d thought could no longer
be found in
been on the front-lines of truth-telling since 1962/63 when she
traveled from NY to
Lucy K. also worked with/for Betty Friedan et al's National Organization for Women (NOW). A "freelancer" since 1969 she’s published in Scientific American, The Nation, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Washington Post, Christian Science Monitor, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, Boston Globe etc. It's understating things to note Lucy's an amazing story herself. And a positive one :)
Along with being a force for good in
the civil rights and womens' rights movements, she's exposed
kickback schemes behind US school lunch programs, authored a book
on Corazon Aquino, another on feminism, and one on the history of
the American welfare system. By the start of this century, Lucy
Komisar's addressed the common denominator to the corruption and
injustices she's exposed throughout her life - the financial
rackets/racketeers. Her website is content-rich, with links to
source documents, and containing info and analyses missing from
today’s corporate and state press. “The Komisar Scoop” is
akin to I.F. Stone’s “Weekly Reader” in this digital age.
For her exceptional work, Lucy Komisar’s received the Gerald
Loeb Award, the major
Failure of our popular press contributes to the Magnitsky myth. Legendary journalist Lucy Komisar attends a session of the Council on Foreign Relations "think tank" in New York City, 05.12.2018, and questions why legacy media refuse to report the truth of this matter.
Helping us catch Browder under oath is journalist and teacher Lee Stranahan, co-host with Garland Nixon of "Fault Lines", who’s posted the entire 6 hours, 55 minutes, and 49 seconds of recorded deposition of Bill Browder in the Prevezon case @:
NB Stranahan and team note: For the full deposition transcript and other resources go to: https://www.Populist.TV/Browder
Safra's Golden Sweepstakes: Republic National Bank of New York
Edmond J. Safra – together with Beny Steinmetz funded Hermitage Capital/Fund's launch
Browder and/or his ghost-writer chose to say
it's "like" gold and it'd be "like" winning the
In 1989, Forbes magazine's inimitable Joe
Queenan branded the Vancouver
Stock Exchange “Scam Capital of the World.” Intense
media glare on VSE-centric chicanery helped drive swindlers
southward and due east to score their jackpots. On November 29,
1999 the scandal-ridden VSE was shuttered. Corrupt
“venture capital” schemes, once the stock-in-trade of
Sonartec aka Sonatel aka Cycomm: a certain sinking feeling
Illustrative of such currents are Canuck-harboured stock
promotions of the era which received Republic National Bank of
Cycomm launched in 1986 on the Alberta Stock Exchange (ASE) as Sonartec North America Inc. (before changing its name to Sonatel Telecommunications Corp. and then Cycomm). A perennial money-loser and operational failure, Cycomm continually exaggerated and misrepresented the status and saleability of its “products”.
During 1986/87 it pitched allure of an air-propelled, ropeless, floatless, crab-pot (or trap) – a device to catch up to 900 pounds of marketable seafood per hour as it rose from the ocean’s depths. This would-be marine marvel, (or, at least, sketches of it), came to the Canadian stock-play by way of Robert Paul Martin, director of Sonartec Ltd. – a related entity listed on Australia’s exchange.
In July 1986, as Sonartec N.A. (Cycomm) was
being floated in
As well, in 1988/89 trading in the
Alberta-listed stock by a London-based “bucket shop”, T.C.
Coombs & Co., warrranted attention of securities investigators
in Canada and the U.K. In 1991 British authorities shut down
T.C. Coombs which had been dealing in various dodgy shares
Coombs’ “guiding light”, Andrew Kent, cleared of “conspiracy
to defraud” charges at a criminal trial held in London, was behind
a shiny new venture – diamond exploration in Russia’s Arkhangel'sk
region via Canadian-listed Archangel Diamond Corp. and its
subsidiary, Almazny Bereg, said to be listed on the “Central
Russian Universal Exchange”.
Turbulence aside, Cycomm’s Canadian stock promotion sailed forth under a succession of corporate flags – heralding claims about, and touting enormous sales potential for, products that never materialized. From 1987 - 1991, Cycomm hyped three products which did not even exist in commercially viable form: the AdZapper, a non-existent black box that promised commercial-free-television home videotaping; the AdSwapper, a larger, equally non-existent, form of the AdZapper; and the PL2000 (an illusory black box billed as capable of converting telephone party-lines into single-use lines).
AdSwapper and PL2000 were all said by
Cycomm to be the
inventions of Dieter Blum, a "widely respected" engineer who had
"obtained both a Bachelor of Science degree from
The company could
now point to a successful invention – Dieter Blum’s credentials.
Blum, a high school drop-out with
a string of fraud-related criminal convictions to his name, was
serving time in a Canadian penal institution on charges of false
pretenses at the time Cycomm
certified he was receiving his degrees. To note that (Questioned in
1992, Cycomm's Vancouver, BC-based accountant,
Steven M. Blacklock – a tax
auditor with no pretense
of being billed a lawyer – said efforts to confirm details with the
non-existent Belgian university had been frustrated by
summer recess and differences in time-zones.)
(Questioned in 1992, Cycomm's Vancouver, BC-based accountant, Steven M. Blacklock – a tax auditor with no pretense of being billed a lawyer – said efforts to confirm details with the non-existent Belgian university had been frustrated by summer recess and differences in time-zones.)
Republic National Bank of New York took down shares in two private placements – one tranche in late 1991, when the company was called Sonatel, and another tranche in June 1992 once Cycomm was its handle. RNBoNY also appears alongside key Cycomm players as shareholder in a Tasmanian entity (explored in greater detail in the next segment of this series). Ironically or not, Cycomm, in the wake of Robert Martin’s imprisonment for phone-hacking, shifted focus to promoting cellular voice privacy and encryption technologies.
In the upcoming instalment(s), we dive deeper into Cycomm and other dealings of Republic National Bank of New York, the flagship of Edmond Safra, Bill Browder’s mentor and role-model. We up-periscope to survey a social organization and cultural milieu in which “business as usual” can mean golden opportunities for insiders. And we follow colourful threads that unravel today’s “Magnitsky myth” and more.
Afterword: During the 1980s and ’90s I investigated white collar / organized crime. Joining forensic accountants, lawyers, police, journalists, victims – we did our best to track, expose and stop predation, pollution and other destructive acts. Reportage of those cases resides in archives of: Canada Stockwatch, The Vancouver Sun, The Globe and Mail, The Financial Post, Equity, Macleans, BC Business, The Financial Times of Canada, CBC fifth estate, CTV W5, HVG, Time, Forbes, Barron’s, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, The Washington Post, US News & World Report, Businessweek, ABC TV Primetime Live, The Observer, The Economist, Channel Four Dispatches, BBC Panorama, ABC Radio Background Briefings and dozens more regional, national and international print and broadcast media outlets in Canada, the USA, Central + South America, Eastern + Western Europe, Africa, Asia, Australia and ’ere else.
Author of a
non-fiction chap-book, “Sideshow: The Howe Street Carnival”.
Three-time recipient of the
Western Magazine Award for Business features. In May of 1999,
David Baines, intrepid reporter with The
In its acknowledgement, the NNA noted: “The Vancouver Sun’s David Baines, working with freelance securities investigator and writer Adrian du Plessis, unraveled the intriguing tale of YBM Magnex International Inc., the Canadian company that operated as a money laundering vehicle for the Russian mafia. The Sun began its early work on the company’s murky business dealings and links to organized crime even as investors were driving its share prices to record levels on the Toronto Stock Exchange. Judges called it a thoroughly comprehensive effort that combined extraordinary initiative, research, analysis and writing."
My last investigation – before retiring from the field in the 1990s – exposed the presence of Semion Mogilevitch and Russian 'mafiya' in North America's financial markets via YBM Magnex International Inc. Three years after breaking this case in Canada, state-side a new Director of the FBI was appointed – Robert Mueller.
Propaganda and a "slow-motion" / "soft" coup in Guatemala
That was then. I retired 20 years ago and had no plans to revisit this territory until our nation's public broadcaster, CBC Radio, in June 2018 aired news of a geopolitical hoax rooted in too-familiar, toxic, soil. At once singularly transparent and harmful, American-turned-British tax-evading con-man Bill Browder is now championing a pair of Russian fraudsters, Igor and Irina Bitkov, seeking refugee status and asylum in Canada.
"SCAM OF THE YEAR" (original 75-page report here, above) – Igor and Irina Bitkov – North West Timber Co. / Vilda Consult LLC: forensically-detailed analyses published in Spring 2009 by KNIA = Kaliningrad Independent Information Agency – click on cover to download full report (in Russian language).
From at least 2005 through the scheme's collapse and wake, Russian media outlets, for years, exposed the activities of Igor and Irina Bitkov's NWTC and related entities – revealing the enterprise as a giant "Ponzi" / pyramid-type loans+-scheme.
Igor Vladimirovich Bitkov(a)
On October 5, 2005, Svetlana Sokolova of regional "Gazeta" (Newspaper) "35" reported on the "garbage arithmetic" of "the NWTC pyramid". The paper found the Bitkov's timber enterprise "looking like a financial fraud on a particularly large scale" noting (in translation from the original):
"Gazeta 35 has already written about dashing guys from the North-West Timber Company, whose activities, in our opinion, cause serious damage to the economy of the Vologda Region. Due to the dumping of the NWTC in the market of pulp and paper products, the loss of profit of Vologda enterprises amounts to millions of rubles. This turns into losses for the regional and local budgets, which receive less significant amounts of income tax."
"...our editorial staff has learned, they are actively 'pushing' the issue of getting another loan worth about $20 million in one of the banks whose controlling stake is owned by the state. Immediately make a reservation, this is not Sberbank, with which NWTC members signed a loan agreement for $450 million, and not Gazprombank, which recently opened a $22.3 million credit line for NWTC."
"It would seem - why would the head of the NWTC Igor Bitkov attract additional loans from third banks, if you can use the 450-million (in dollars!) Sberbank credit line. After all, for 450 million dollars you can build or buy two dozen such pulp and paper mills as Neman. Why take money somewhere else?"
"There may be several answers to this question, and all of them are clearly not in favor of Bitkov. It is possible that the NWTC does not have enough money to pay interest on bank loans that have already been recruited. Indeed, if we take into account that the real volume of annual revenue of NWTC enterprises - the Kamennogorsk factory of offset papers and the Neman Pulp and Paper Mill, according to expert estimates, hardly exceeds one and a half billion rubles a year (it is significant that information about the revenues of these enterprises is not given in for the media sources, apparently, the NWTC has something to hide), and the total amount of loans, loans and other debt obligations collected by Kamennogorsk, Neman and NWTC itself is much more and exceeds two billion rubles, then To state that timely payment of interest on loans for the NWTC is not an easy task."
"The second version is also very likely. Perhaps, the NWTC has complicated relations with Sberbank. And since Sberbank does not give money, they have to frantically search for 'on the side'."
"Finally, the third version: the new 20-million dollar loan is 'the last cap of NWTC'. Perhaps no one is going to return this money. This version is indirectly confirmed by a number of facts - lately it is difficult for the NWTC enterprises to boast of special production success. Quite the contrary - as an example, we present the information of the Internet publication 'The Commonwealth of Paper Wholesalers' :"
"Two out of seven paper machines were stopped at the Nemansky pulp and paper mill, jobs were reduced."
"The newspaper Expert-North-West (St. Petersburg) reports that two paper machines out of seven were shut down at the Nemansky Pulp and Paper Mill, 4% of jobs were cut, a significant proportion of workers went on forced leave, which causes social discontent in the Neman."
Irina Viacheslavovna Bitkov(a)
aka (assumed name) Irina Rodriguez Germanis
Gazeta 35 and others described the scam as it unfolded. In the wake of the forecast collapse of the pyramid / loans Ponzi scheme, Olga Wilde of "Business Petersburg" reported (09.06.2011):
"The former owner of the North-West Timber Company (NWTC), Igor Bitkov, has been put on the international wanted list for bankruptcy. NWTC debt - more than 6 billion rubles."
"The decision to declare an international search for bankruptcy was issued by the Criminal Investigation Department of the Internal Affairs Directorate for the Kaliningrad region. Now, Igor Bitkov will be searched in the Interpol member countries, if he is caught, extradition to Russia can be expected. In March 2011, Igor Bitkov was charged in absentia with the intentional bankruptcy of the Neman Pulp and Paper Mill, the entrepreneur was put on federal wanted list."
"The NWTC united a number of timber industry enterprises: the Neman Pulp and Paper Mill (Kaliningrad Oblast) and the Kamennogorsk Offset Papers Factory (Leningrad Region). Co-owners of the company were Bitkovs spouses - Igor (55%) and Irina (45%) . In April 2008, the NWTC has defaulted on its debts. The main creditors were Sberbank and Gazprombank (the aggregate amount of the debt - 3.7 billion rubles) and the offshore company Vilda Consult Ltd (with the same debt of 3.7 billion rubles)."
"The latter appeared in the register of creditors as a result of the transaction for the purchase of Svetoch LLC recognized by the Federal Arbitration Court of the North-West District in 2009 invalid. The court decided that this transaction, carried out just a day before the announcement of the NWTC default, was concluded with the aim of illegally joining the offshore company to the creditors of NCPM. In May 2010, by the decision of the Supreme Arbitration Court, Vilda’s requirements were declared void, the offshore itself was excluded from the register of creditors of the NCPM."
"In 2009, investigators from the Internal Affairs Directorate of the Kaliningrad Region opened two criminal cases under articles on fraud on a large scale on the fact of embezzlement of funds provided by Sberbank (1.3 billion rubles) and Gazprombank (642 million rubles) in the form of loans to the Nemansky pulp and paper mill. Then these cases were combined, and the actions of the owners of the NCPM were re-qualified for the article 'deliberate bankruptcy'."
"Igor and Irina Bitkovy went abroad almost immediately after the default of the NWTC, in 2008, and it is unknown where they are now."
Kaliningrad Independent Information Agency (KNIA, which had published extensive analyses of the NWTC+ "Scam of the Year") said on May 19, 2011:
"Interpol will be engaged in catching the ex-owner of the NWTC Igor Bitkov: There is no exact data on the whereabouts of the Bitkov couple after the launch of the intentional bankruptcy procedure for the enterprises of the NWTC group. According to some reports, they are hiding from justice in the UK, according to others - in Latvia. At the end of last year, information appeared that the ex-owners of the NWTC may be in Guatemala. This resulted from documents sent by the Bitkovs to the court as an explanation of the reasons for their non-appearance. According to the conclusion of the surgeon Emanuel Baros Tello, Igor and Irina Bitkovy got into an accident and were treated in one of the private clinics of Guatemala (which one wasn’t specified)..."
"As the KNIA explained to the interviewed experts, in the near future in the case of the deliberate bankruptcy of the NAC, the appearance of new defendants is possible. In particular, the law enforcement agencies of the Kaliningrad region are conducting an audit with respect to the arbitration manager of the plant, Dmitry Shurakov, who was appointed to this position with the filing of the bankruptcy initiators. By his actions, he contributed a lot to offshore Vilda Consult Ltd. appeared in the register of creditors НЦБК."
"It is also not excluded that Leonid Raikov, the former general director of НЦБК, will also receive the status of the accused - it is his signature that is under the contract with Vilda Consult Ltd., as a result of which fictitious payables were formed."
The "deliberate bankruptcy" of NWTC, hundreds of $millions in debt, the failed ploy involving a fake creditor offshore in the form of Vilda Consult LLC, and other elements of the scam are well-reported and documented. Negligent (ie. choosing to not do their due diligence) and/or corrupt journalists in Canada and the USA incl. Mary Anastasia O'Grady of The Wall Street Journal and Michael Weiss of The Daily Beast, stenographers for propaganda of con-man Bill Browder and American politicans such as Congressman Chris Smith and Senators Marco Rubio and Roger Wicker, have yet to report the facts of this matter.
Russian “fake news” against the CICIG has a dark origin in a case that reaches Minister Degenhart - Nómada, Guatemala – click this link for article detailing roots of this propaganda effort in Guatemala en Spanish and, also, in English
Tweets above point to the 2018 launch of a propaganda campaign. International con Bill Browder in concert with US Senator Marco Rubio, Congressman Chris Smith et al, supported through false and/or misleading stories in the press – such as those by Mary Anastasia O'Grady (Wall Street Journal) and Michael Weiss (The Daily Beast) – recast fraudsters Igor & Irina Bitkov. This deceitful campaign by 2019 contributes to Guatemalan President Jimmy Morales shutting down CICIG (The International Commission against Impunity in Guatemala) looking into corrupt activities.
Taking false identities in Guatemala, Igor Vladimirovich Bitkov(a) aka Gregorio Igor Benetiz Garcia, (Igor assumed an additional Latin American ID as well), and Irina Viacheslavovna Bitkov(a) aka Irina Rodriguez Germanis are now part of the Hermitage et al propaganda machinery.
Aiding the latter script are lawyer Gary Caroline and propagandist Marcus Kolga of Canada's Ofelas Group – a firm comprising Caroline, fellow lawyers Dean Peroff + Chris MacLeod and publicist Andrew Wigley (along w. aforementioned Kolga, Estonian campaigner), collectively associated with such characters convicted of major corporate crimes internationally as Mikhail Khodorkovksy and Mikhail Kapustin (alt. Michael Kapoustin) – and members of the USA's dubious Helsinki Commission such as Chris Smith, Marco Rubio, Roger Wicker and Mike Lee.
A Canadian lawyer and former politician, well-connected-in-certain-Canuck-corridors, Montreal-born Irwin Cotler is another disseminator of mis-and/or-disinformation supporting dishonest claims of Browder et al (esp. re the tax-evading accountant Sergei Magnitsky), as is Geneva-based lawyer Hillel Neuer, also born in Montreal, and both linked to a questionable outfit calling itself UN Watch (Cotler on the Advisory Board and apparent Russophobe Neuer as Exec Director).
Guatemala Human Rights Commission responds (above) to propaganda of Browder and co. and provides a thumbnail explanation of issues vis-a-vis the Bitkovs in that country – click thumbnails to enlarge view
Response (above) to the "Helsinki Commission" from VTB Bank vis-a-vis the Bitkov fraud – click thumbnails to enlarge view
Above – letters from con-man Bill Browder and US Republican Senator Roger Wicker to Alejandro Baltazar Maldonado Aguirre, then-President of the Republic of Guatemala (cc'd to then-US Secretary of State John Kerry and others) – click thumbnails to enlarge view
With Guatemala's President Jimmy Morales bolstered by the Bitkov propaganda, on January 11, 2019, Colombian jurist / diplomat Iván Velásquez Gómez, head of the CICIG, (established in 2007), writes to Antonio Gutèrres, Secretary-General of the United Nations, countering the lies of Browder's forces (in this excerpt keying in on the Biktov's case circumstances) :
It has been argued that CICIG, in collusion with the Russian Government, has favored the political persecution of the Bitkov family.
The "Migration” case was opened in the Special Prosecutor’s Office against Impunity (FECI) in 2010. In 2018, a court sentenced 39 people responsible for participating in a passport forgery network. Among those convicted are former staff members of the General Directorate of Migration (Dirección General de Migracion, DGM) of the National Civil Registry (Registro Nacional de las Personas, RENAP) of Guatemala, lawyers, agents (coyotes), and users of the criminal structure, including Igor Vladimirovich Bitkov, Irina Viacheslavovna Bitkova and Anastasia Bitkova.
The Attorney General’s Office, with the support of CICIG, fulfilled its duty of presenting charges and providing evidence; then it moved forward in the trial and listened to the defense and prosecution, and the judges independently decided the penalties applicable, according to the Guatemalan Penal Code.
The Guatemalan judges found that there was enough evidence of the Bitkovs entering Guatemalan territory legally with their Russian passports. However, once in the country, they bought false documents from members of the criminal structure, a conclusion that was obtained from the review of more than 50 papers from Guatemalan institutions, subjected to expert and criminal analysis, and the statement of a ‘cooperating witness’ who provided details on the operation of the network. They acquired birth certificates, identity documents, and passports, in the case of Mr. Bitkov, with two different names.
In no case, within the context of the trial, as part of the strongly financed defamation campaign or in the examinations conducted by institutions of the US Government, evidence or indication of collusion with the Russian Government has been found.
A new trial ordered by the Constitutional Court against Mr. Bitkov also concluded - for the second time- on his conviction.
Hermitage "fixer" Jakir Daniel Sha'ashoua (var. spellings) pops up in Guatemala - click on thumbnail above to view full court document/page
Still More Propaganda and lies Fuel Magnitsky Myth
Acts of Canada,
Sergei Magnitsky's university certification – click image to see enlarged view
In 1993 Sergei
Magnitsky graduated from the
Bill Browder calls Magnitsky "a thirty-five-year-old-attorney", "a highly educated tax lawyer" – "rumored never to have lost a case" at FD. So much of what's said by Browder and cohorts is plainly, demonstrably, misleading and/or false. Ivan Cherkasov, Hermitage COO, says of Sergei Magnitsky's experience with the Russian courts: "As a lawyer, uh, he understood that there is no law.”
Ivan Cherkasov, Hermitage COO pictured above, falsely calls accountant Magnitsky a "lawyer"
In Russia, a lawyer is called an advokat. It takes years of legal education to become an advokat or advocate. Sergei Magnitsky had no such education and accreditation. On occasion, he was given "power of attorney" - a very different matter to being a lawyer. In civil, but not criminal, proceedings in Russia a layperson (ie. someone who's not an advokat) can make an appearance – and this can save money on legal fees, among potential benefits. (If you choose, you can ask an accountant or plumber to help pull out your aching tooth. They may do as you ask – still, it won't make them a dentist however successful their extraction.) Magnitsky's certainly no lawyer. And, for Sergei, his wife, children, Mother and all loved ones – grieving his death in a Russian prison – there's untold tragedy in his meeting a group of people prepared to lie about so much more than credentials.
Among the fraudulent activities – and those for which Bill Browder and Sergei Magnitsky were criminally charged (and Browder convicted) – false information was filed about the group's hiring of disabled employees. Saturn Investments, for example, claimed to employ Erni Badokov (alt. E.Y. Badykov) as a “financial analyst”. In this video clip – originally broadcast during a segment of the popular Russian political talk show “Spetsialnii Korrespondent” – Badykov scoffs at the suggestion. (Lengthy interviews of Badykov and several others exploited by the bogus Dalnaya Step and Saturn Investments’ scheme are available in video format.)
"Browder was convicted in absentia in Russia twice. On July 11, 2013, Moscow’s Tverskoy District Court found him guilty of large-scale tax evasion to the tune of 522 mln rubles (about $8 million at the current exchange rate) and sentenced him to nine years in jail. That verdict also barred him from doing business for two years."
"In July 2014, Russia put Browder on an international wanted list. The Russian Prosecutor General’s Office has repeatedly asked Interpol to issue an arrest warrant for him."
"On December 29, 2017, Moscow’s Tverskoy District Court sentenced Browder to nine years behind bars in absentia, having found him guilty of tax evasion again, this time to the tune of more than 3 bln rubles ($45.3 mln) and bankruptcy fraud. His business partner Ivan Cherkasov was handed a similar prison sentence. The court also upheld a lawsuit against Browder and Cherkasov for 4.2 bln rubles ($63.4 mln) and barred them from doing business in Russia for three years." Moscow court upholds arrest in asentia of wanted UK financier – Tass, 23.01.2019
Excerpt of the criminal court verdict vis-a-vis Bill Browder and Ivan Cherkasov - click on the page image above to download and read the full verdict and learn details of their scam.
Positively, there’s a growing global community bringing full, true and plain disclosure.
It's not the "legacy" media speaking truth. It, so far, is MIA and/or misleading the public vis-a-vis the geopolitical hoax of Browder & co.
Right now, and for years, due diligence into these matters is being carried out by: the extraordinary American freelance journo Lucy Komisar; Andrei Nekrasov, Torstein Grude and Piraya Film AS – Norway's multi-award-winning, Oscar-nominated, film production house behind revelatory documentary "The Magnitsky Act: Behind the Scenes" – "based on a true story of a big lie"; Consortium News (the first-ever web-based investigative news magazine, founded in 1995 by Robert Parry, the, late, legendary reporter who broke key Iran-Contra stories in the 1980s published by Associated Press and Newsweek); always-incisive blogger Llamma; founder of Citizen Journalism School Lee Stranahan & team (whose current broadcast platform, Russia's Sputnik, on this topic, allows the sort of meaningful reportage that once found a home on state channels here in "the west" such as the UK's BBC & Canada's CBC); hedge-fund manager-turned-author, Croatia's Alex Krainer and others…
NB Investigative journalist and author Robert I. Friedman, before his death in 2002, wrote a series of articles and books, including 2000's Red Mafiya (Little, Brown and Company), which are ground-breaking still – and help illuminate the path today.
Investigating the fraudulent claims and activities of Hermitage entities, one comes across an awful lot of "influential" people that self-identify as upholders of human rights and who appear to pay lip service to truth – seemingly without qualms. The rest of us, all together, we can defuse the deceit that's heedlessly fueling prejudice and misunderstanding and stoking unnecessary tensions in our world.
Documents – court, corporate, press etc. – that are created independent of the Hermitage team and its collaborators shred the lies of con-man Bill Browder et al. The Prevezon court docket – 763 filings – is particularly illuminating as it enables Browder himself to destroy the illusion of his own credibility via his transparent testimony and tactics. To review the full court docket, click here
Speaking most eloquently to real tragedies of “Russiagate” hoax + Russophobic lies / propaganda of con-man Bill Browder et al (click on image of speech excerpt below to see larger version), Natalya Veselnitskaya testifies before US Senate Committee on the Judiciary (Nov. 20, 2017) "truth will not disappear no matter how hard you try to conceal it":
Lawyer Veselnitskaya's present at the oft-misrepresented "TrumpTower meeting". As ever, the singular American journalist Lucy Komisar sets the record straight – see "Mueller Report Gets the Trump Tower Meeting Wrong; Promotes Browder Hoax" @ Consortium News and click here to see more, related, articles @ The Komisar Scoop.
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