The Magnitsky Affair: How to Oppose a Criminal State?

  • 19 May 2021
  • 10:00 AM - 11:00 AM
  • Online

Registration


THE RUSSIA DISRUPTION SERIES

The Magnitsky Affair: How to Oppose a Criminal State?

with Jamison R. Firestone

Jamison Firestone was working as a lawyer in Russia during the uncovering of a $230 million tax fraud case, the largest in Russian history. This discovery would lead to Jamison’s colleague Sergei Magnitsky’s death. The Magnitsky affair prompted countries around the world, led by the U.S., to pass the Magnitsky Act, a law sanctioning human rights offenders and allowing seizing of assets and banning entry to the U.S.

The Kremlin undermines institutions at home and around the world, while at the same time, Russia enjoys a permanent seat on the UN Security Council and many international organizations, including Interpol and the Council of Europe. To talk about these issues and how to encourage better behavior by the Kremlin, one must understand Vladimir Putin and his regime. The Magnitsky Affair provides a view of how the Kremlin operates, Putin’s intentions and how Putin’s regime might be approached.

To learn more about the Magnitsky Affair, watch a newly released documentary by Vice here.


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Registration

FREE for PCFR Members

$10 for Non-Members

Schedule

Wednesday, May 19, 2021

10:00 am-11:00 am MST | 11:00 am-12:00 pm MDT

Venue

Zoom Meeting

The link for this webinar will be included in your registration confirmation email.


Speaker


Jamison R. Firestone

Managing Partner

FD Advisory LLP

Jamison Firestone is a graduate of Tulane Law School, class of 1991 and a member of the New York Bar. He founded the first independent foreign law firm in Russia. He lived in Moscow for eighteen years and has managed a law practice there since 1993. He was also a member of the Board of Directors of the American Chamber of Commerce in Russia for six years, where he lobbied both the US and Russian governments for changes to improve trade and business in Russia.

In 2007 Mr. Firestone’s Russian law firm exposed the largest tax fraud perpetrated against the Russian Government by its own officials. Mr. Firestone’s law partner Sergei Magnitsky was arrested, tortured and killed in a Russian prison by the perpetrators of the fraud.

In 2009 Mr. Firestone moved to London and along with Mr. William Browder founded the Global Magnitsky Justice Campaign which created a new sanctions regime named after Mr. Magnitsky. Magnitsky Sanctions enable targeted visa bans and asset freezes on human rights abusers and highly corrupt officials. The efforts to expand the Magnitsky Act in the US to include corruption caused Russia to launch a covert effort to kill the sanctions. This culminated with Russia hiring Fusion GPS (producers of the “pee pee” dossier) to combat sanctions and sending a lawyer to Trump Tower in an attempt to cut deal with the incoming Trump Administration: No sanctions in exchange for good relations.

Despite the attempted Russian interference, US Magnitsky Sanctions were expanded to include corruption and have now been adopted in various forms by Canada, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, the United Kingdom, and most recently by the European Union on December 7th, 2020.

Mr. Firestone is focused on calling attention to the Putin Regime’s destabilisation efforts and addressing issues of how to effectively sanction dictatorships, kleptocracies and regimes engaging in hostile acts.

Mr. Firestone is currently Managing Partner of FD Advisory where he specialises in sanctions, asset recovery, defence from extradition, and defending clients from Russian criminal and civil actions both in Russia and abroad. He regularly publishes articles and has been featured on the BBC, Bloomberg, CBC, SKY, and in several documentaries.


Moderator


Keith Brown

Director, The Melikian Center: Russian, Eurasian and East European Studies

Professor, School of Politics and Global Studies, Arizona State University

Keith Brown currently serves as Director of the Melikian Center: Russian, Eurasian and East European Studies. He is Professor in the School of Politics and Global Studies. Previously he was Professor (Research) at the Thomas J. Watson Institute for International Studies at Brown University. As well as teaching in Brown's interdisciplinary undergraduate programs in International Relations and Development Studies, he led several collaborative and policy-oriented research projects focusing on conflict and its aftermath, civil-military relations, and transitions to and from democracy. He served as director of the Brown International Advanced Research Institutes from 2010-2014, and director of the Watson Institute's postdoctoral program, and the undergraduate public policy program, from 2014-2017.

He has also been a senior fellow at the United States Institute of Peace and a visiting fellow at the University of Connecticut Humanities Institute, and was a Fulbright Fellow at the Institute for National History in Skopje, Macedonia in 2012-13. He holds a bachelor's in classics from the University of Oxford and a master's and doctorate in anthropology from the University of Chicago.



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