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Activist Bill Browder Wants Canada to Ban Russian Officials Who ‘Killed’ Tax Lawyer for Exposing Them

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By Sounak Mukhopadhyay | April 30, 2014 3:03 PM EST

Investment firm executive Bill Browder, who is also a human rights activist, wants Canada to ban Russians that took active participation in torturing and "killing" a Russian tax lawyer five years back in 2009.

CBC News reported that Mr Browder had been expelled from Russia in 2005. He is presently based in London to run his company Hermitage Capital Management from there. Browder appeared before a parliamentary subcommittee on international human rights on Tuesday, April 29. He talked about Russian lawyer Sergei Magnitsky at the committer. According to Browder, Mr Magnitsky helped him expose frauds by officials at the Russian government. The frauds were in relation with tax refund.

In 2008, after Magnitsky had testified against the Russian officials who were involved in the alleged fraud, he was taken in to custody and imprisoned thereafter on pre-trial detention. The lawyer was never brought to trial for more than a year's time. While his health deteriorated gradually, 37-year-old Magnitsky was found dead in his cell in 2009.

Browder, who appeared before the same committee in 2012, alleged earlier that Magnitsky had been beaten with rubber batons. According to Browder, his company is the biggest foreign investment firm in Russia. He apparently vowed to bring justice to Magnitsky while grabbing the world's attention to what had happened to the lawyer. He also wants retribution for those who were responsible for persecuting Magnitsky.

Interestingly, Browder has a history of having been tried for tax evasion in Russia. The trial was, however, done in absentia. Magnitsky was also tried along with Browder. It was the very first occasion when a Russian court found a dead man to be the defendant. According to Browder, it was a "show trial in every possible sense of the word."

Browder accused Russian President Vladimir Putin, along with other government ministers of Russia, of keeping anonymous assets. They generally use other people's names to accumulate the wealth, he alleged.

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