London Times runs fake Browder story by acolytes Ben Brandon & Alex Bailin

By Lucy Komisar
Consortium News, Oct 25, 2019

Ben Brandon and Alex Bailin are London lawyers who have co-authored a fake story based on fabrications by William Browder about Russia’s legal action against his tax evasion and the death of his accountant, Sergei Magnitsky. The writers of this London Times op ed managed to put eight lies into just five opening lines.

Co-author Brandon is the lawyer representing the U.S. in its request to extradite war crimes whistleblower Julian Assange. This raises questions about the connection between the U.S. and the U.K. in the promotion of the Browder/Magnitsky hoax and the attack against Assange.

Here is their story. And my proof of their fabrications.

The time has come for Britain‘s long-overdue Magnitsky law
The Times, October 24 2019

By Ben Brandon and Alex Bailin

We must not lag behind the rest of the world when it comes to holding human rights abusers and corrupt regimes to account.

Sergei Magnitsky, a young lawyer, was hired in 2008 by Bill Browder, the chief executive of Hermitage Capital, to investigate a tax fraud on his fund. Having diligently uncovered a large scale embezzlement by influential Russian officials, Mr Magnitsky was arrested and mistreated in prison in an attempt to pressure him into withdrawing his testimony.

He refused to retract and was
beaten to death.

Ben Brandon and Alex Bailin.

Dear Messrs Brandon and Bailin, I assume that as lawyers you think it‘s a good idea to check out what people claim, since even clients lie. Therefore, please consider the evidence below, not what convicted fraudster William Browder apparently told you.

Lawyer: Magnitsky was an accountant. Browder acknowledges in his deposition in U.S. federal court 2015 that Magnitsky didn‘t have a law degree or go to law school. See him say it in a video clip. In his own interrogations, Magnitsky is identified as an auditor.

Hired in 2008: Magnitsky worked for the accounting/law firm Firestone Duncan which Browder hired in 1997 to handle his company accounts and tax filings. The Russian court found that Magnitsky in the interests of Browder in 1997-2002 implemented an illegal tax evasion scheme using firms registered in Kalmykia and managed by Hermitage Capital. (See article) Browder claims he hired Magnitsky in 2007, so Brandon and Bailin get even that fabrication wrong.

To investigate a tax fraud: See above. He was hired in 1997, ten years before the 2007 tax refund fraud. Magnitsky‘s 2006 interrogation was about Browder‘s company tax evasion. See his testimony and the cited article. And the fraud wasn’t on his fund, it was on the Russian Treasury. Fraudsters scammed the Russian Treasury by obtaining a $230mil tax refund based on fraudulent lawsuits.

Uncovered embezzlement: The tax fraud, which is not properly described as an embezzlement as it was a fraud on the Russian Treasury, not on a company, was first reported by Rimma Starova in April 2008. The Russian newspaper Vedomosti and the New York Times reported it in July 2008. Magnitsky mentioned in in testimony only in his October 2008 interrogation.

Influential Russian officials: There are no Russian officials accused in any of the reports, by Starova, the newspapers or by Magnitsky. Read the documents.

Mistreated: He suffered the same poor conditions as other inmates. There is no evidence he was pressured to withdraw testimony. Or do you have any?

Beaten to death: There is no evidence he was beaten to death. Or do you have any?

The only on-site independent report, by the Moscow Public Oversight Commission, indicates terrible prison conditions and failure to provide needed medical care. The Physicians for Human Rights (Cambridge Mass) report, cites the POC report and is addressed to Browder, who gave PHR 44 documents to back up his claims. It reached the same conclusion.

Browder‘s initial statements about Magnitsky‘s death, in 2009 and 2010, mention no beatings.

Check out his talk at Chatham House, in your home town. “I don‘t know what they were thinking. I don‘t know whether they killed him deliberately on the night of the 18th, or if he died of neglect.”

How Browder changed his stories about Magnitsky’s death. Graphic Michael Thau.

And the video of his address to the San Diego Law School the next year. “They put him into a straight-jacket, put him into an isolation room and waited outside the door for 1hr18 minutes until he died.”

He invented the beating death in 2011 when he decided to create and lobby for the Magnitsky Act in the U.S. Congress to stop Russian authorities from pursuing him for $100 million in evaded taxes and illicit stock buys.

Ironically, though he uses the U.S. to build a wall against Russian tax collectors, he gave up his American citizenship in 1998 to avoid paying taxes. He is listed by CBS News as a “tax expatriate.”

If you are serious lawyers and investigators, you will examine the evidence and respond. (And change your story.)

The rest of the op ed is to support unspecified steps to hold to account those who benefit from human rights abuses and corruption. No mention of the persecutors of Julian Assange or the beneficiaries of the UK’s worldwide system of tax havens. The real purpose appears to be to repeat the Browder hoax in the lead.

Post Script: I called them acolytes, but maybe it’s more than that. Ben Brandon is the British lawyer representing the U.S. in its request to extradite war crimes whistleblower Julian Assange. This raises questions about the connection between the U.S. and the U.K. in the promotion of the Browder/Magnitsky hoax and the attack against Assange.

I sent copies of this article to Brandon and Bailin. No response.


I also sent a complaint to IPSO the British Independent Press Standards Organization.

It calls itself the independent regulator of most of the UK‘s newspapers and magazines. It says: We hold newspapers and magazines to account for their actions, protect individual rights, uphold high standards of journalism and help to maintain freedom of expression for the press.

Clauses breached
1 Accuracy
This op ed article is based on egregiously fake facts. See this story and the links for the evidence. I have sent it to the authors. They should retract the story.

Also posted by OffGuardian.

James Madison explains Russiagate: If tyranny and oppression come to this land, it will be in the guise of fighting a foreign enemy.

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9 Responses to "London Times runs fake Browder story by acolytes Ben Brandon & Alex Bailin"

  1. Alan Grimm   Oct 26, 2019 at 2:08 pm

    God bless you and your HONEST investigative journalism. 🙏

  2. Pingback: The Untouchable Mr. Browder? – Abel Danger

  3. Pingback: London Times runs fake Browder story by acolytes Ben Brandon & Alex Bailin – Abel Danger

  4. Thomas Busse   Nov 1, 2019 at 10:13 pm

    You know, what the Browder case allowed me to do was crack the old Inslaw case.

    “company theft” – the racketeering definition means “theft of liability” – you are complicit in the theft because you can claim it’s not your fault or responsibility. Well in the Inslaw case, they could claim “software theft” – i.e. they put a backdoor into the USDOJ’s case management software for the benefit of the mob which kept one step ahead of the USDOJ. When they found out, the guy who was the go-between for looking up info in the DOJ’s computers was rebranded a “journalist” just like Browder rebranded Magnitsky. The fake story got an endorsement by congress

  5. Pingback: Assange lawyers’ links to U.S. govt & Bill Browder raises questions – The Komisar Scoop

  6. Nathalie Parent   Nov 11, 2019 at 11:49 am

    Dear Lucy,
    Thank you very much for your courageous articles about the lawyers of Julian Assange! After reading the first one I have sent this email to Mark Summers.

    Germany, November 2nd, 2019

    Regarding the defense of Mr Assange

    Dear Sir,

    I am very aware of the situation that Julian Assange is currently experiencing. As part of my research, I became interested in people representing the prosecution and more particularly to Mr Ben Brandon, who represents the U.S. government versus Julian Assange.

    What I found particularly attracts my attention:

    1.) Ben Brandon and your colleague Alex Bailin know each others. They have co-authored recently an article about the death of the accountant, Sergei Magnitsky, article pubished on 24 October 2019 in “The Time “.

    2.) Yourself, Sir, are representing right now the U.S. government in another extradition case which concerns the three former bankers of the Credit Suisse Group Andrew Pearse, Surjan Singh and Detelina Subeva.

    It is astonishing and unbelievable from my point of view to discover that your own colleague Alex Bailin is Andrew Pearse’s Barrister.

    3.) This case is not your only one as a representative of the U.S. government as can be read in an article from “MarketScreener” of 3 september 2019:

    “A prominent U.K. extradition lawyer, Mr. Summers has represented the U.S. in other extradition cases, including in bringing Navinder Sarao, a British trader who later pleaded guilty to contributing to the 2010 “flash crash” on U.S. stock markets, to face charges in Chicago”

    Those information lead me to believe that the U.S. government is an important client for your employer Matrix Chambers.

    Isn‘t that an undeniable conflict of interest?

    Can you please explain me how it is possible for you in this context to involve yourself freely in Mr Julian Assange legal defense, with the required independence towards the accusation.
    Do I understand that you defend your client Mr Assange against the US government, which US government employs you elsewhere?

    Thereby, I must conclude that the defense of Julian Assange contradicts the guidelines described in the SRA Handbook:

    “You can never act where there is a conflict, or a significant risk of conflict, between you and your client.”

    In my opinion, there is an strong conflict that has no place in a judicial system that proclaims its independence.

    Does Mr Assange know about this conflict and wouldn‘t it be fair to recuse yourself from his defense?

    I am looking forward to read your answer.
    With kind regards

  7. Nathalie Parent   Nov 18, 2019 at 1:25 pm

    Dear Lucy,

    Look at this! You’ve been followed by the french blogger Basicblog. He has published today an article about the conflict of interest in the legal team of Julian Assange.

    Also Aymeric Monville has mentionned you yesterday in an interview with Georges Galloway on RT. You can hear it from minute 1:24:34

    Cheers and thank you again for this research!

    PS: For my part I havn’t received an answer from Mark Summers.

  8. Pingback: » Le London Times publie un fake concernant Bill Browder – Par Lucy Komisar

  9. Pingback: UK Press Standards Org won’t examine The Times of London’s Magnitsky lies since complaint not made by family – The Komisar Scoop

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