28. Jan. 2014

Protokoll Europarat

03. Sitzung
10.00 Uhr
(Dok. 13356)

Weiteres zum
Erster Teil der Debatte (in German)

Kommentar zur Debatte:
A task for the Russian society (in English)

Zum vollständigen Magnitskij-Bericht:

Mr Magnitsky was killed, and when somebody
is killed there are responsible people

I call Mr Gross, rapporteur, to reply. You have seven minutes.

Mr GROSS (Switzerland.) – I thank you all because you understood the report well and the message was well received. We know we cannot bring Mr Magnitsky back to life, but by trying to bring justice by discovering why this happened we try to serve the interests of the Russian people so we can perhaps prevent this from happening again. As Mr Stasi said, this is a systemic problem, but we must tackle systemic problems case by case. By doing so, we see the system, and then we can correct the system.

I am also grateful to our Russian colleagues because I listened closely to what they said, and although the rhetoric was tough, they were self-critical, too, and recognized wrongdoings and said they are ready to work with us. Mr Slutsky, for instance, said that. It was said Russia should respond to our proposals to prevent sanctions.

There are some concrete questions, nevertheless. Mr Aguzarov, I am very glad that you said this is a drama. In doing so, you acknowledge that something happened that should not have happened, but you also said we should not blame Russia, yet when a state arrests and imprisons somebody, it is responsible for that. If the $230 million that has been stolen had been invested in improving prisons, Mr Magnitsky would have got the medical treatment he needed. You cannot say the state does not have the money to fulfil its obligations when it imprisons people. Think about the money you invest in other things. A state has certain responsibilities to its people, especially those it arrests, and it cannot leave them alone and just forget about them. It is a drama when you do not see this situation in this way. You should think about what the Duma prioritizes in its budget and whether the prisons get enough, especially as you arrest so many people.

Let me address the next misunderstanding. I am not the Voice of America. If you read the report properly, you will see that I do not follow the Voice of America. I tried to find a compromise. I tried to find a way that still leaves space for Russia to act correctly. Please do not take it too easy.

Mr Alexander Sidyakin said this is a true tragedy, and then he tried to turn the point, as did Mr Leonid Kalashnikov. I agree that Russia has a huge history, and I sometimes think we should study it more closely. In the 1990's you had oligarchs, who stole money and resources and did not pay for them. It happened because Russia had the right conditions for that. You wanted money – you did not have enough money – and you sold your riches and resources much too cheaply. These people could also only do this through connections with political institutions. It is not by chance that many of the current oligarchs were former young communists, for instance, who had good relations with the state institutions.

Mr Browder is not somebody like that. He might make you angry, and I understand why because he makes you not forget what you have done, but you cannot put him simply in the category of oligarch. He saw that companies are also suffering from the corruption because those who invest did not get a fair share of the profits as too much was passed into other channels by the management. Through trying to change that, he was successful and that is why he got more investment and that is why he became rich. That is why he paid more taxes than anybody else paid at that time - $230 million. This was the money that was stolen.

Do not be angry at Mr Browder, therefore, but take him as a opportunity to do better. Do not just try to neutralise what he has to say by using offensive words he does not deserve. He is rich, but rich people should also be fairly treated and have rights that should be respected. Mr Clappison agrees very much.

It is a fact that Mr Magnitsky was killed. The big question is whether he was intentionally killed. If he was intentionally killed, we would be speaking about murder. That is the difference – the German translation was perhaps too bad. He was killed, and when somebody is killed there are responsible people because they did not prevent that from happening. That is what we are trying to investigate.

Some of our Russian colleagues said I have one-sided sources. That is not true. The largest part of the information has come out of official Russian sources and documents. The two institutions we praise, as Mr Kox also did, are official institutions the Russian President introduced to improve the system of arrest and imprisonment. The presidential council for human rights is a fantastic institution, and we got a lot of information from it. The Public Oversight Committee is a fantastic institution, too, which investigated the case and saw the manipulation of the death certificate, as Mr Omtzigt also said.

Please do not take it too easy. Do not blame others because you perhaps are not ready to assume your own responsibility. You have a responsibility and the report tries to help you to assume it and tries to serve the Russian interests in order to prevent such a case from arising again. It is true that many other people suffer in a similar way but do not have such famous advocates so we do not know them. We should help them, although we do not know them.

THE PRESIDENT – Thank you. - Does Mr Clappison, the chairperson of the committee, wish to speak?

Mr CLAPPISON (United Kingdom.) – May I take this opportunity to congratulate you, Madam President, on your election to the presidency? - I can be very brief on this occasion, because the committee and I support the work of the rapporteur.

Kontakt mit Andreas Gross

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