The lawyer of Russian human rights activists asks for shelter in America

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2014/10/22 • Russia

A Russian lawyer who defended investigative journalists and human rights activists requires protection himself and seeks it in the United States of America. Lawyer Andrey Stolbunov asked for refugee status in the U.S. because of what he calls “fabricated” criminal accusations against him. 

Well-known Russian lawyer Andrey Stolbunov, who accused Russian regional officials of corruption and defended investigative journalist Mikhail Beketov, who was beaten to near-death, says that he is being accused of extortion in Russia.

According to the investigation, Stolbunov and his assistants demanded 22,5 million USD from the former Minister for Transport of Moscow oblast Petr Katsiv. A Radio Liberty journalist saw these accusations in Washington on a photocopy of a document issued by the Russian investigative committee on September 16, however he did not receive independent confirmation of the authenticity of the accusations, which also include other points. In particular, due to his actions Stolbunov allegedly caused damages to Patr Katsiv’s son, Denis, whom the U.S. government accuses of participating in the robbery of 230 million USD in the case of lawyer Sergey Magnitsky.

In a phone interview to Radio Liberty, 41-year-old Stolbunov said he was head of an NGO named Spravedlivost, and according to the investigation he engaged in ‘extortion’ in the following way: he published the results of his investigations of corruption on his website. Stolbunov himself says that they used the facts his associates and himself published on the organization’s website in letters to Russia’s investigative bodies.

“There should be objective data, that people are doing this to gain something. How would we gain anything from writing to the FSB, the MIA, the prosecutor’s office: ‘Check it, here are the facts!’,” explains the Russian lawyer.

However, instead of verifying the possibly corrupt officials, Russia’s investigative bodies started accusing the lawyers. One of Stolbunov’s associates, Dmitry Baranovsky was sentenced to 12 years in jail in 2012 on accusations of extorting money from Katsiv and anther banker.

“The publications on the website are considered a way of extortion. I allegedly did this for Baranovsky to later get money. This is total nonsense and I have nothing to add to this,” says the Russian lawyer.

Andrey Stolbunov says that he has not received official accusations yet, however, he does not believe in fair trial in Russia.

Translated by: Mariya Shcherbinina
Source: Radio Liberty

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  • Murf

    hopefully he is in the Obama administration’s “strategic interests”.
    Otherwise he is screwed

    • Don Casavant

      Murf, I think he is screwed either way! OBAMA’s “strategic interest” ebb and flow with the wind so he is screwed but he will never get kissed!

      • Milton Devonair

        Actually, as has been shown time and time again, if the person’s skin color is white and/or the person(s) a christian, obola and the liberal/progressive democrat party has no interest in them…or they attack the person.

        So that person’s SOL…..obola style.

        • Don Casavant

          You are correct again. Since I don’t live in the USA I keep forgetting what a racists our POTUS is!

          • Milton Devonair

            Yup, in the USA, “We are all chicago” now. :-(
            But I saw things coming and moved out into a rural area in a rural state. Take a long time for him and his trash to reach me.

      • Murf

        Thus we see the darker side of American liberalism. They like to portray themselves as being “for the little guy. and the under dog” but in the end they will backstab and sell out friends and allies. without a thought and have a clear and rational train of logic to justify it.

  • Dirk Smith

    US should reciprocate for Snowden.

    • Don Casavant

      Why do we want Snowden? Very low lowel techie with a big mouth. If we really wanted him he would be pushing up daises months ago!