MOSCOW, December 22 (Itar-Tass) — President Vladimir Putin “explained the ins and outs” of the case of Hermitage Capital lawyer Sergei Magnitsky to the EU leadership, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told journalists on Saturday.
Commenting on the results of the Russia-EU summit in Brussels, Lavrov said the summiteers could not ignore the human rights issue. “The Magnitsky case was also on the focus of the summiteers. This is tragedy when a person dies in a detention facility. The Russian president explained the ins and outs: besides human tragedy that is the subject of trial, another investigation continues. It is related to William Browder and Sergei Magnitsky was one of his lawyers,” Lavrov said.
“Browder and Hermitage Capital Management was noticed of illegitimate actions on our financial market and tax avoidance. One should not forget that there is another element, besides human tragedy, and it is necessary to sift the problem to the bottom.” “We do not need such conditions in our detention facilities that will not allow us to provide aid to people, who fall ill,” Lavrov said, adding that both investigations continued.
At the same time, the minister said this story was used for unfavourable purposes.
“Indeed, people die in prisons. They die not only in the Russian Federation, they die in Europe and in the United States of America. In addition, people also die in the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia. I mean, for example, Yugoslav former president Slobodan Milosevic. None offers the ‘Milosevic Act’ because it is cynical and blasphemous,” he noted.
According to Lavrov, “we should do our best to prevent any concerns over human rights from being transformed into instruments of policy and politicised such problems. Any human tragedy should give a lesson to us. By drawing conclusions we should do everything possible to make our systems more humane.”
“This is related to everyone, without any exclusion, including to us, the European Union with its delaying investigation on secret CIA prisons and the delaying investigation based on the report by former Finnish president Martti Ahtisaari [trade in human organs]. Nothing was explained to us in this aspect although these are serious problems,” the Russian foreign minister said.
“That is why the key conclusion is that it is necessary to take care of human rights. It is necessary to investigate any human rights case, but not in order to make its own PR and attract domestic and international public. If you really seek to solve these problems, PR will not help us,” Lavrov pointed out.