Saturday, January 23, 2010
Moscow's DOJ Extortion Racket
"What happened next was less typical: Her case was dropped, the 38-year-old is now campaigning to change a Russian justice system she says let bribe-seeking offficials pressure her and other executives by throwing them in jail. ... On Tuesday, President Dmitry Medevedev signed a law banning pretrial jailing of suspects in first-offense tax cases. The move is the latest legal change that removes one of the levers that critics say police and regulators have used against executives. Russia has also recently made it more difficult for investigators to call surprise audits of businesses or bring criminal charges aganist tax offenders who have already paid their debts. ... On Monday, the independent Moscow Public Oversight Commission characterized Mr. [Sergei] Magnitsky's pretrial detention as a campaign of neglect and torture by police and jailers. ... Change has been slow, however, and it is unclear how much momentum remains. Ms. [Yana] Yakovleva and other activists estimate that tens of thousands of people in pretrial detention are charged with white-collar crimes, though official statistics aren't available. Almost none are acquitted, but many receive sentences that don't involve prison time. ... Ms. Yakovleva says her own problems with the law started in 2006, after she and her partner turned down an offer from an officer of the antidrug police to pay kickbacks on sales of diethyl ether, an industrial solvent that can also be used in illicit-drug production. ... Ms. Yakovleva says she was arrested as she left her health club. 'It's so nice to detain decent people,' she recalls one officer telling her. ... Officials at the antidrug police publicly defended the prosecution. But ultimately they dropped the charges when a court struck down the rule that had made ether a controlled substance. Ms. Yakovleva filed a complaint alleging official corruption. Officials denied the allegations. No charges were filed", my emphasis, Gregory White at the WSJ, 30 December 2009, link:
Moscow's authorities need to learn how we do it in the US. These Russians are amateurs. Study say my 17 January 2008 post: http://skepticaltexascpa.blogspot.com/2008/01/justice-department-extortion-racket.html. Russia's legal system may be better than ours. Could Moscow's Public Oversight Commission look at the SDNY US attorney's office for us?