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A Russian businessman helping Swiss prosecutors uncover a powerful fraud syndicate has died in unexplained circumstances near his mansion in Britain, in a chilling twist to a Russian mafia scandal that has strained Moscow’s ties with the West.
Alexander Perepilichny, 44, sought refuge in Britain three years ago and had been helping a Swiss investigation into a Russian money-laundering scheme by providing evidence against corrupt officials, his colleagues and media reports said.
When Eduard Mochalov tried to have the people who stole his cattle and pig farm brought to justice, he spent eight months in jail on charges he says were cooked up. He appealed to Vladimir Putin and even set himself on fire outside the Kremlin in protest, but still couldn't draw attention to his cause as his farm slowly fell into disrepair.
Now, Mochalov has found a new life as a crusading journalist investigating corruption in his native region, fuelled by tips from disgruntled businessmen and government workers.
Associated Press – April 10, 2012
Russia's leading corruption whistleblower on Friday accused Prime Minister Vladimir Putin's close ally Igor Shuvalov of graft.
Alexei Navalny posted on his blog the scans of documents that show tens of millions of U.S. dollars transferred to the account of Shuvalov's company from companies that Navalny alleges are owned by billionaires Roman Abramovich and Alisher Usmanov.
The police in Russia plan to resubmit for trial a tax evasion case in which the primary defendant died in detention more than two years ago, his former employer said Tuesday.
The trial of the defendant, Sergei L. Magnitsky, would be the first posthumous prosecution in Russian legal history, according to a statement by the former employer, Hermitage Capital. The death of Mr. Magnitsky, a lawyer, in November 2009 drew international criticism over Russia’s human rights record, especially after accusations arose that he had been denied proper medical care.
Sergei Kolesnikov is a soft-spoken biophysicist who once thought he would spend his career toiling in placid obscurity inside a secret Soviet military institute.
Then, as Communist rule collapsed, he became a prosperous businessman and part of the crony capitalist web surrounding Vladimir V. Putin, by his own account working with some success to rebuild Russia’s primitive health care system. But today he is a whistle-blower on the run, working to expose what he believes to be the defining corruption of the Putin era.
The mayor of southern Russian city was arrested Thursday for extorting bribes from businessmen who sought to lease government-owned land. Igor Bestuzhy, the mayor of Stavropol, allegedly demanded a bribe of 50 million rubles (US$1.6 million) from a businessman who wanted to lease five hectares of municipal land.
Vladimir Markin, spokesman for the Russian Investigative Committee, called on all businessmen who were extorted to come forward as witnesses.
A documentary on jailed oil boss Mikhail Khodorkovsky was released in Russia on Thursday in a handful of cinemas, mostly outside Moscow, after distributors said major cinemas pulled out.
The film by German director Cyril Tuschi was one of the key attractions at this year's Berlin Film Festival. But in Moscow, the first public release was at a small cinema in the suburbs with just 88 seats.
If the legal system here worked, a 75-page report titled “The Torture and Murder of Sergei Magnitsky and the Coverup by the Russian Government” would be submitted to a court of law. Instead, it is being delivered Monday to the court of international opinion.
The report, full of links to official documents and the result of a thousand man-hours of work, comes not from officers of the law but an American-born businessman who is convinced that Russian officials are getting away with murder.
A Russian army major who alleged his men had been fed dog food has been jailed for four years for beating up two soldiers in a separate case.Igor Matveyev was immediately arrested and sent to serve his sentence after the trial in the far eastern city of Vladivostok.
Matveyev said the case against him had been fabricated after he posted videos of allegedly re-labelled dog food.He said it had been substituted for food stolen from his soldiers.
Foreign companies that aren’t big multinationals should think carefully before setting up a business in Russia, as endemic corruption makes it difficult to compete without paying bribes, says Elena Panfilova, director-general of Transparency International Russia’s Center for Anti-Corruption Research and Initiative.
Panfilova spoke to TrustLaw about Russian President Dmitry Medvedev’s crusade against corruption, civil society’s role in fighting graft and why she’s optimistic about the future of Russia’s anti-graft battle.