Browder book fantasy: Magnitsky during beating in prison phones him



By Lucy Komisar
Oct 24, 2018

I’m waiting for William Browder’s Red Notice to be listed as fiction!

William Browder’s book, Red Notice, Simon & Schuster, 2015: p 276-7. Nov 16, 2009. Browder is in London: “That night, at 12:15 a.m., the voice mail alert on my BlackBerry vibrated. Nobody ever called my BlackBerry. No one even knew the number. I looked at Elena and dialed into voice mail.…I heard a man in the midst of a savage beating. He was screaming and pleading. The recording lasted about two minutes and cut mid-wail.” He writes, As soon as the sun came up, I called everyone I knew. They were all okay. The only person I couldn’t call was Sergei.”  

We are supposed to believe that caller was Sergei Magnitsky, Browder‘s accountant, who had been detained in the investigation of his Hermitage Fund tax evasion and died November 16, 2009.

Was Magnitsky, who Browder says was tortured in prison, allowed to have a cell phone? They sure can‘t have them in U.S. prisons. Did he never call during the tortures Browder says happened for a year? See 60 Minutes March 12, 2017, tortured for 358 days. Is this the first time, after a year of tortures, that Magnitsky during the alleged one-hour killer beating by government thugs finally calls Browder? Browder cites no other calls. Did he suddenly obtain a cell phone?

Imagine Magnitsky, handcuffed based on what Browder claims and the bruises found on his wrists, being beaten by, Browder says, eight riot guards. Magnitsky: “Hey guys, I have to make a phone call. Can we take a break?” Thug leader: “OK, you have 5 minutes. Guys, take a smoke.” Magnitsky with great dexterity pulls out his phone (though one Browder statement inconveniently says that at the end he was handcuffed and another that he was in a straight-jacket) and dials Browder. No answer. Just voice mail. He doesn‘t say, “Hey Bill, they are beating me! Do something!” Instead he just screams. And pleads. (No text provided.) He hangs up. Thugs resume beating.

width=271 Browder invents a beating by police. He has never provided evidence.

Did Browder call the number back? Apparently not. At least he doesn‘t say. The Magnitsky screaming and pleading allegedly was recorded. Did Browder post this important evidence? No, he didn’t. Why not? Isn’t that a smoking gun? Not if it’s invented!

See here, p 277: He reviews what happened. Eight guards in full riot gear….beat him…with their rubber batons.

NOW consider this. It was Nov 16, 2009. 12:15 am in London was 3:15 am in Moscow. If this was a message, the call would have come earlier.

But the Public Oversight Commission, an NGO which was the only independent investigator of Magnitsky’s death, writes about his final day Nov 16:

7:00pm.  The patient behaves inadequately.  Talks to a voice, looks disorientated, and shouts that someone wants to kill him.  He condition is diagnosed as psychosis.  The emergency doctor was called (order N 904253). There are no body damages apart from traces of handcuffs on the wrists.

9:15pm.  The patient was surveyed again as his condition deteriorated.  When the psychiatrist was examining the patient the latter’s condition deteriorated sharply.  He lost conscience (sic).  The reanimation procedure was started (indirect heart massage and ventilation of lungs using the Ambu pillow).  The patient was transferred to the special room where he was received an artificial ventilation of lungs and a hormones injection.  Reanimation procedure lasted 30 minutes.

At 9:50pm the patient died.

So, they report no beating. Still, are we to assume that Magnitsky, who Browder indicates was beaten to death early that morning, was resurrected so he could die a second time many hours later?

NB: Browder sent the Public Oversight Commission Report to Physicians for Human Rights, Cambridge, Mass., which he asked to opine on the cause of Magnitsky’s death. Of course, it said it was from untreated serious illness. Not a whisper about beating.

Follow the timeline of Browder inventing the beating by eight riots squad thugs. It took a few years.

Browder gave a speech to Chatham House, the major London foreign policy organization, in December 2009. He never mentioned a beating.  “I don‘t know what they were thinking. I don‘t know whether they killed him deliberately on the night of the 16th, or if he died of neglect.” What happened to the dramatic cell phone call? (Night of the 16th? But his book says he died 16 Nov in the early morning!)

He gave a talk to the San Diego Law School (minute 6:20). No beating. “They tied him in a straight jacket put him in an isolation room and waited 1 hour and 18 minutes until he died”Š”Š6 Dec 2010. No cell phone call?

He started to talk about the beating only in 2011, when he began organizing to get passage of the Magnitsky Act, which was based on Magnitsky having been murdered by Russian officials. “They put him isolation cell, tied him to bed, then allowed eight guards guards beat him with rubber batons for 1 hour 18 minutes until he was dead”Š”Š13 Dec 2011, University of Cambridge Judge Business School. There was no evidence of it in the report of the Public Oversight Commission or several coroners’ reports. For the West, that didn’t seem to matter.

Editors of the important U.S. publishing house Simon & Schuster, a subsidiary of the CBS Corporation, vetted this book, and book critics reviewed it with great praise. I don’t expect any of them fact-checked to confirm that Browder was telling the truth, but on the face of it, guys, did you believe his story? A cell phone call made by someone in handcuffs or straight-jacket being beaten to death? Really? What were you smoking?


Browder’s changing stories on how Magnitsky died, graphic by Michael Thau.

To see how Browder invented the “Magnitsky beating,” including with not so deft forgeries, go here and here.

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