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Markelov Paid for Jail Time, says Firestone

The Telegraph has published several pieces relating to Sergei Magnitsky today, including a background piece, a link to a documentary about the lawyer’s death, entitled ‘Justice for Sergei’ (click for trailer), and a piece by Hermitage Capital head William Browder, reminding readers of the retribution exacted on his attempt to clean up the ‘multi-billion dollar corporate malfeasance‘ at Gazprom and Surgutneftegaz back in 2005.  All these items relate to stories that have been well-documented in the press in the past – except this one, regarding the story of Viktor Markelov, a businessman currently doing jail time over a case of tax theft which was uncovered by Sergei Magnitsky.  
It seems the case is resurfacing because Jamison Firestone, of law firm Firestone Duncan who were Browder’s lawyers and Magnitsky’s employers, is alleging that Viktor Markelov is being paid by the government to stay in prison and keep the real perpetrators from getting into trouble.  Hermitage itself has always insisted that Markelov’s case was a cover-up, claiming that Markelov could in no way have carried out the complex fraud without the help of senior officials, and Firestone now has lodged his claims with the prosecutor’s office.

The new claims were filed on Tuesday by Mr Magnitsky’s boss, Jamison Firestone, who wants Mr Markelov’s $2.1m assets seized for the Russian state. No attempt has ever been made to recover any funds, despite the conviction of Mr Markelov, who was once jailed for manslaughter.

Mr Firestone said: “Each time Markelov is imprisoned for the crimes he commits together with his friends from the [police], he is compensated, roughly at the rate of $1m for every three months he is held in custody. This is the price of covering up the involvement of his co-conspirators. Such a wealthy felon should pay his part for stealing $230m from Russian people.”


The full piece is here.