By Lucy Komisar
Feb 27, 2019
This is my radio interview today on Fault Lines with Lee Stranahan and Garland Nixon, the latest in a series blowing the whistle on convicted tax cheat and fraudster William Browder. Here are the key elements, with a few explanations and links added.
Browder, who used offshore shells to move and launder profits on which he evaded taxes, was invited by the tax committee of the European Parliament to talk about how to combat offshore tax evasion. Surreal!
French member of parliament Nicolas Bay, the only truth-teller there, asked why he had gotten Andrei Nekrasov’s film The Magnitsky Act: Behind the Scenes banned from a screening at the parliament. Browder was enraged!
The European Parliament created the Tax3 committee to deal with issues raised by the Panama Papers, Luxleaks, Paradise Papers and the like. And Browder, who set up his Russian investment fund on a network of offshore shell companies in Cyprus and the British Virgin Islands, including two listed in the Panama Papers, was the chief expert at the Jan 29 hearing. He should have been asked to explain how he did it, used the offshore companies to evade taxes. But he wasn‘t!
The only member of parliament who made any relevant statements or asked any pertinent questions was Nicolas Bay from France. He deplored “These systematic attacks on Russia and allies so that perpetrators of white collar crime are able to pass themselves off as victims.”
He said he had called for hearing on the matter but was told all the party groups had to agree. They didn‘t.
Browder of course told the same old fake story: Sergei Magnitsky, my lawyer, investigated the crime, discovered the scam, testified against the officials, was arrested, tortured for 300+ days. All proven lies, including the lawyer part, since Magnitsky wasn’t a lawyer (Browder admitted that in a deposition), but the accountant who handled his tax evasion. The parliament apparently lacks a research staff.
Browder claimed that 20 countries got illicit money from the case Sergei Magnitsky was “killed over” and that he has provided documents, but still nothing happens. Browder said, Money was paid to members of the British establishment to make sure things were not happening. We have found payment to members house of Lords”
The British authorities are getting tired of his fake claims, and Browder, annoyed, revealed they think he is a “pain in the ass.”
He added that senior members Swiss federal police are having inappropriate contact with Russians, that the deputy general prosecutor of Cyprus is having in appropriate relations with people in Russia.
Of course, when prosecutors get claims of crimes committed in other countries, they naturally contact their counterparts in those other countries. How does Browder think law enforcement works? That authorities just accept his claims without checking them out?
He claimed there is a “week prosecutorial culture in Europe. In the US when we brought the case they grabbed it.”
That says a lot. You could say the Europeans demand evidence, the US Justice Department works on politics, in this case Russophobia. The Justice chief investigator admitted the “evidence” used to open the case came from Browder. And he didn‘t check it out.
French member of the European Parliament Nicolas Bay was the only one who challenged Browder to tell the truth about his using political and ideological muscle to get Andrei Nekrasov‘s film “The Magnitsky Act: Behind the Scenes” banned from a showing at the parliament. See the Bay-Browder exchange on this video, which is explosive.
Bay said, “Andrei Nekrasov wanted to show film. At the last minute this film was cancelled, the screening cancelled, even though film had gone through all the checks and controls in advance. Why are we seeing this censorship in area where we are supposed to have this perfect democracy?”
He said Nekrasov launched his own investigation, checked documents. “Apparently there are inconsistencies in what Mr Browder is saying, inconsistencies about an employee who was hospitalized, but the photo was in the US from 1961.”
That‘s the famous Jim Zwerg US Freedom Rider photo that Browder tells the world was a lawyer for Firestone Duncan beaten by police in the search of their offices in 2007. The fake claim is also in Browder‘s book.
Bay said, “Mr. Nekrasov is continuing to deconstruct the narrative without having been cited by you for defamation.”
Mr. Browder around the world you seem to be saying you are the No 1 enemy of Mr. Putin. Is it not necessary now to organize a proper debate between you, Mr. Browder, and Mr, Nekrasov?
Would you …
Browder flew into a rage!
He ranted, “I knew there would be question from the FSB (the Russian Security Service) fed here. Andrei Nekrasov is a scrappy film maker at one time working for Boris Berezovsky doing anti-Putin films. When Berezovsky died, he ran out of money needed new sponsor and it became the FSB of Russia in my opinion.”
In fact, his opinion is worthless. First, Nekrasov never worked for Berezovsky. Easy to tell lies when one party is dead. As in the Magnitsky hoax.
The film was funded by major European media organizations, including ZDF/Arte (German/French state broadcaster), NRK (Norwegian state broadcaster), YLE (Finnish state broadcaster) and agencies such as The Norwegian Film Institute (Norwegian state film funding body), The Nordic Film & TV Fund (Nordic film funding body), The Finnish Film Foundation SES (Finnish state film funding body) and more.
Browder declared, “He made up a complete propaganda film with FSB talking points. He had tried to play the film, we‘ve objected because it is full of lies and misrepresentations.” All untrue since everything in Nekrasov’s film is documented.
He said, “They showed film in Washington DC. Everyone who saw it thought it was load of Russian propaganda.” Nekrasov actually filmed the audience. There were a couple of screaming Browder acolytes, the rest appeared to like the film.
Browder said, “Andrei Nekrasov is a paid propagandist, I don‘t think I should lower myself to his level.”
That is defamation. Browder‘s level is so low it‘s hard to see how anyone could slither under it.
Hear the program on Periscope
Postscript: March 11, the European Parliament voted 146-134 against a proposal by the EPP Group to modify the plenary agenda by renaming the debate concerning “a European human rights violations sanctions regime” to “towards a EU Magnitsky Act.” The EPP comprises mostly Christian Democratic, conservative and liberal-conservative politicians. Liberal in the neo-liberal right-wing economic sense, not the US liberal sense. Browder called it a defeat of our motion. When did he become a member of the European Parliament?