Here's a retelling about the 'new' findings with more specific details.
Russia: Magnitsky's bitter legacy / The 'established' story of an accountant
who died in police custody and a fraud is being challenged
Compare it to 'established' story <http://archive.is/c9MVn>
<http://tinyurl.com/grb3nxj> foreignpolicy.com <http://archive.is/pUk3r>
Millionaire Tries to Stop Documentary Claiming to Tell the True Story of
Russia's Missing $230 Million
HENRY JOHNSON | JUNE 10, 2016
.. Next Monday, the Russian-born Nekrasov will finally get his chance to
premiere it at the Newseum, a journalism history museum in Washington.
Nekrasov is showing it to a private audience whose invitees include
congressional staffers, State Department employees, members of the White House
National Security Council, and journalists. Investigative reporter Seymour
Hersh will moderate the screening.
The film centers on Sergei Magnitsky, who human rights activists believe was
murdered in 2009 after accusing the Russian police of stealing an estimated
$230 million from the state treasury.
But according to Nekrasov, that narrative is wrong. By his telling, Russian
authorities were the victims of a massive theft, not the perpetrators. The
film, he told Foreign Policy in a telephone interview, provides strong
circumstantial evidence that Magnitsky's boss, Bill Browder, was possibly
involved in the multimillion dollar theft from Russian taxpayers.
Sonya Gavankar, the Newseum's manager of public relations, told FP in an email
that the museum would screen the film despite a letter from Browder's lawyers
demanding that it be cancelled.
Browder was one of the first Westerners to cash in on the fall of communism in
Russia, starting Hermitage Capital Management in 1996 with just $25 million in
seed capital. Within a few years, he became the largest investor in Russia, at
one point managing $4.5 billion in capital, and staying on Moscow's good side
by vocally supporting Russian President Vladimir Putin.
His riches-to-super-riches story came to an abrupt end, however, in November
2005, when Russia blacklisted Browder as a threat to national security for
auditing the companies he invested in and leaking details of insider trading
and corruption to the press. A year-and-a-half later, police officers raided
his firm's office in Moscow and confiscated paperwork.
Here's where the accounts diverge: Browder says the police then stole three of
his holding companies and used them to claim a $230 million tax rebate;
Nekrasov, who previously directed films critical of the Kremlin, argues that
authorities were investigating Hermitage Capital over legitimate concerns
about large-scale tax evasion.
"I can prove in court that Browder is not telling the truth," Nekrasov told FP
in an interview from Berlin.
His accusation, stunning if true, has alienated friends, enraged Browder, and
threatens to tarnish the director's well-respected career.
It would also undermine the narrative behind the Magnitsky Act, a U.S. law
passed in 2012 to punish those responsible for the tax lawyer's arrest,
torture, and death in custody. ..
Nekrasov told FP he set out to make a film based on Browder's story that would
be "a docu-drama praising Magnitsky." Instead, he says close to two years of
research led him to conclude that the conventional narrative was false. He
said funding for the film came exclusively from mainstream western European
Nekrasov's film documents how he went from trusting Browder's word to
disbelieving it. The director says he began to doubt the hedge fund manager
after reading the actual police reports in Russian. For example, Nekrasov
argues that Magnitsky's first contact with the police was not a voluntary act
of whistleblowing, as Browder maintains, but a record of the police
questioning him as a key witness in a tax evasion investigation.
Among Russian activists, Nekrasov said, Magnitsky is seen as a hero and
Browder as truthsayer. Any revelation that sullies them could be a bitter pill
"The worst criticism comes from my Russian friends," he said. "Most of my
friends are completely pro-Browder, and Putin doesn't have any influence over
them. I became like a traitor."
Browder has thwarted Nekrasov's previous attempts to show the film with
threats of legal action. The first time, he intervened at the last minute to
stop Nekrasov, with Blu-ray disc in hand, from showing it to an audience of
European Union parliamentarians at the their headquarters in Brussels.
Around the time of that planned screening, Magnitsky's mother and widow
denounced Nekrasov's film in a joint letter to the European Parliament.
Browder's lawyers also have sent letters threatening to sue the producers and
venues that have tried to screen the film, according to Nekrasov.
In a phone call with FP, Browder said he would pursue legal action against the
Newseum if he perceived it as backing the movie "in any way."
"They're on record now for knowing the libel," he said, referring to a list of
supporting evidence he gave to the Newseum.
"We've explained to them that this movie is a fraud and that it contains false
information, so if they continue to support it then they're disseminating this
false narrative," Browder said. "They have a choice. They can stop it."
Magnitsky's widow and mother have asked the Newseum to shut down the program.
On Thursday, they sent a letter to the board of trustees urging them to "stop
an evil and vindictive attack on our deceased husband and son."
Browder and Magnitsky's family believe that a Russian implicated in the tax
fraud is funding the screening at the Newseum.
Browder said he has evidence that Denis Katsyv, a Russian national under
investigation by the U.S. Justice Department for taking some of the $230
million, is funding the Potomac Square Group to rent out the room at the
Newseum. The Potomac Square Group, a public relations firm in Washington, is
also representing Nekrasov.
"This has nothing to do with free speech. It has to do with laying out false
information by alleged Russian gangsters who are currently under investigation
and being sued by Department of Justice," Browder said.
In an email to FP, Christopher Cooper, a partner at the Potomac Square Group,
denied Browder's allegation that he was representing Katsyv's company.
Nekrasov also denied knowledge of this arrangement and said he'd "be very
curious to see what this evidence is," though he did admit to knowing Katsyv.
Nekrasov told FP that his experience dealing with Browder "has been a bit
depressing, to be frank."
"What I discovered is how easy it is - if you have a lot of money - to
basically gag somebody," Nekrasov said.
.. Review of Devastating Film About Bill Browder Which He Tried to Suppress