NYRB won’t run invited letter exposing Browder-Magnitsky fake

width=150By Lucy Komisar
April 8, 2018 –

The New York Review of Books refuses to run a letter pointing out fake facts in its February Browder Magnitsky story. It had read my initial letter, invited a cut, which I did, but now will not post it. Shame on what used to be a place of serious commentary and now runs neocon Russophobic screeds.

Subject: Re: to Max Nelson:query about publication plans for my letter to the editor on the Amy Knight Browder-Magnitsky story
Date: Sat, 7 Apr 2018 21:47:33 +0000
From: NYR Editorial <editorial@nybooks.com>
To: Lucy Komisar

Dear Lucy,

I’m sorry that as of now we can’t commit to publishing the letter. Thanks again for writing and for sending the shorter version, and again apologies for taking so long over it.

With best wishes,



On 2/28/2018 5:06 PM, NYR Editorial wrote:

Dear Lucy,

Thanks for this. We’ll look forward to considering your shorter version. It’s fine to direct readers to the longer version on your site. We suggest you include the embedded links there rather in the version you send us, since we try to avoid discrepancies between the print and web editions.

With best wishes,


From: Lucy Komisar
Sent: Wednesday, February 28, 2018 4:37 PM
To: NYR Editorial
Subject: Re: evidence to back up my letter to the editor on the Amy Knight Browder-Magnitsky story

Yes, I will do that. Thank you for responding. Can I direct readers to a more lengthy response on my website? Can I for the web version include imbedded links to documents?


On 2/28/2018 3:48 PM, NYR Editorial wrote:

Dear Lucy Komisar,

Thank you for sending this. Because of the extreme recent space restrictions on our letters page, we’re asking that all letters run to no longer than 800 words. Might you be able to send a version of this letter at that length? If so, we could consider it for publication. I’ll hope to hear from you about this.

With thanks again and best wishes,

Max Nelson

Editorial Assistant

My response to NYRB censorship:

——– Forwarded Message ——–

Subject: Re: to Max Nelson:query about publication plans for my letter to the editor on the Amy Knight Browder-Magnitsky story
Date: Sat, 7 Apr 2018 18:12:19 -0400
From: Lucy Komisar
To: NYR Editorial <editorial@nybooks.com>

Max, I’m not surprised. Takes brave media to acknowledge that they had published falsehoods. Though even Bob Silvers, declining to run a letter I wrote about another Russia fake news story in Dec 2014, at least told readers they could find my comments on my website. You don’t even offer that. But the neocon NYRB is in good bad company in promoting the Browder hoax. When the truth comes out, it will besmirch your reputation. Think scoundrel time.


(ed: “Scoundrel Time” is Lillian Hellman‘s book about the McCarthy era.)

This is the cut version of letter NYRB requested but then refused to print or post:

Amy Knight‘s “Russia‘s Magnitsky Affair” channels a William Browder hoax that promoted “Russiagate” and roiled relations between US and Russia.

Browder does it to conflate a 2007 scam against Russian Treasury with his 2002 Russian tax evasion. My comments starred*.

Knight writes, “Denis Katsyv, was accused by the US government of using laundered money from a 2007 Russian tax fraud to buy millions of dollars‘ worth of Manhattan real estate.”

The fraud was scam to claim fake legal charges to be deducted from taxes and yielded a $230-million refund. Katsyv is accused of laundering $1.9 million, under 2%.

Knight says Browder brought his complaint to DOJ, but not why he targeted this minor player. Katsvy bought Prevezon, real estate holding company, after the fraud. Perhaps a political choice because Katsyv‘s father had top job in Russia railroads; Browder figured DOJ would go after him.

She writes, “The fraud, which was discovered by a Russian accountant named Sergei Magnitsky…”

  • False. The first clue was filed with police April 9, 2008 by Rimma Starova, director of Browder‘s purloined shell companies. Then July 2008, New York Times reported, Browder‘s group filed complaints. Magnitsky spoke to authorities first Oct 2008.

She writes, “Browder was banned from entering Russia in November 2005, labelled a “threat to national security” and forced to relocate to London.”

  • No, he was banned for evading $70 million in taxes.

She says, “Four months later, in June 2007, Kuznetsov and his colleague Pavel Karpov presided over a raid of Hermitage‘s Moscow offices, along with those of its attorneys, Firestone Duncan. On the pretext that they were investigating Hermitage for tax evasion…”

  • Regional and federal tax authorities had been going after Browder‘s tax evasion from 2002.

“…the officers stole corporate documents and official seals, which they used to illegally transfer ownership of three Hermitage companies to a criminal organisation associated with a convicted fraudster, Dmitri Klyuev.”

  • Tax evasion investigators with warrants took documents. Stealing? “Illegally transfer?” Zero proof.

She says, “Magnitsky was, at the time, an employee of Firestone Duncan, which provided auditing services to Hermitage. Hermitage enlisted him to investigate the circumstances surrounding the [June] raid.”

  • Magnitsky handled Hermitage tax evasion. He says he discovered theft of companies in October 2007, although Hermitage trustee HSBC reported it July 2007.

“The same MVD officers who oversaw the raid, Karpov and Kuznetsov, had Magnitsky arrested for tax evasion on Hermitage‘s behalf in November 2008, after he testified against them to the Russian prosecutor‘s office.”

  • Magnitsky‘s 2008 testimonies do not accuse them.

“Russian human rights groups established that Magnitsky was subjected to treatment by prison officials “comparable to torture”, apparently to get him to retract his statements.”

  • Only credible report, by Russian NGO, Public Oversight Commission for Human Rights, does not say that.

“Andreas Gross, a Swiss member of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (an international organisation dedicated to upholding human rights), observed in his exhaustive, meticulously documented report on the case: “Instead of receiving the urgently needed treatment, Sergei Magnitsky was ˜tranquillised‘ by a beating with rubber batons, handcuffed and thrown into a holding cell, alone and without any medical attention.”

  • William H. Pauley III, presiding judge in US Prevezon trial, said in NYC hearing May 3, 2017 that the Gross report, based on testimony by Browder staffers, “suffers from a lack of trustworthiness… There doesn‘t appear to have ever been an actual hearing conducted….In other words, the Gross report is some piece of work and I mean that in hyperbole.”

Knight says that Russian authorities revisited an old tax dispute with Hermitage involving two shell companies set up by the hedge fund in the region of Kalmykia that offered significant tax breaks to firms that invested their profits there and employed disabled people. She says “the case had been closed for lack of evidence” in 2005, but it was reopened in 2008, shortly after Magnitsky testified about the office raid.

  • Case was closed locally, result of payoff proved later, then reopened. Two Browder companies were accused in 2003 of illegally reducing federal tax by not hiring disabled people or cutting regional tax by not investing in republic‘s economy. Instead of 35%, they paid 5.5%. Kalmykh Republic Ministry of Internal Affairs filed criminal tax evasion charges against Hermitage and Browder in 2004.
  • Magnitsky was called to testify in October 2006 on the tax charges. Not 2008.

“Why did Russian authorities at the highest level go to such lengths – allowing Magnitsky to be arrested and tortured to death in prison”

  • Egregious lie. Browder sent 44 documents to Physicians for Human Rights to get them to proclaim Magnitsky was murdered in prison. They said he died from medical neglect.

Browder‘s goal: use US power to block Russia from collecting evaded taxes. So far, he wins.

Proofs/documents at “Browder Hoax,” https://thekomisarscoop.com/

Investigative reporter Lucy Komisar wrote about the Browder hoax for 100Reporters.

Click here to donate to The Komisar Scoop

One Response to "NYRB won’t run invited letter exposing Browder-Magnitsky fake"

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