Daily Archives: July 11, 2013

The case of Sergei Magnitsky has become a cause celebre for western critics of Vladimir Putin’s Russia. The dogged Russian lawyer died nearly four years ago after being jailed, and allegedly tortured, for uncovering a $230m tax fraud scheme organised by Russian authorities against Hermitage Capital Management, his employer.

Here are some of the best reads from the FT and elsewhere about the Magnitsky case and the fallout from it: 

Daniel Dombey

Recep Tayyip Erdogan (Getty)

The coup in Egypt might be bad news not just for Turkey’s government, which had cultivated ties with Cairo’s Islamist leadership, but also for the thousands of demonstrators who have protested against Ankara in recent months. Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Turkey’s prime minister, appears to have toughened his stance towards the protesters in the wake of the army intervention against his allies in Egypt. 

Gideon Rachman

One of the most striking and harrowing statistics that I have come across recently is the number of American military veterans who are committing suicide. Last year some 6,500 veterans killed themselves. That compares to 3,532 US military personnel who were killed in the Iraq war. The suicide rate among veterans is running at 22 a day

Neil Buckley

A mourner holds a picture of Sergei Magnitsky AP

The farcical conviction of the deceased lawyer Sergei Magnitsky on tax evasion charges will only increase the pressure on European countries to follow the US lead and adopt a “Magnitsky list” of banned Russian officials involved with the case.

Yet the biggest impact of the Magnitsky affair may come not from any official response by western governments, but precisely where it now hurts Russia and its leadership most – in investment. 

♦ As the Chinese economy slows, some believe the government will stand firm in the face of the deceleration, potentially leading to much more pain as the cash-tight environment forces companies to cut spending and eats into fiscal revenues.
♦ In the wake of last week’s coup those living in Egypt’s provincial towns and cities are looking for ways to coexist, despite differences of opinion over the ousted president, Mohamed Morsi.
♦ Since Morsi’s ouster, there has been an end to the crippling energy shortages and the police have re-emerged. Is that an attempt to undermine the quality of life under the Islamist administration?
♦ Myanmar’s ban on virgin teak exports could put a strain on the luxury yacht industry.
♦ Francesca Borri, an Italian journalist, describes the travails of working in Syria as a freelancer and a woman: my editor… sent me an email that said: “Should you get a connection, could you tweet your detention?”

  

Can President Hollande turn things around?

This week the French government announced a multi-billion euro programme of investment, designed to boost the economy and President Hollande’s flagging poll ratings. In this podcast, Gideon Rachman is joined by Hugh Carnegy, Paris bureau chief and Ben Hall, former Paris correspondent, to discuss a turbulent few weeks in which Mr Hollande has had to fire a cabinet member for dissent, the French government has clashed repeatedly with the European Commission in Brussels and Nicolas Sarkozy has made a flamboyant re-entry into French politics.