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tv   The Bottom Line  Al Jazeera  April 22, 2022 11:00pm-11:31pm AST

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ah, wherever you go in the world, well, my line goes to make it feel exceptional. katara always going places to get. ah, hello, i'm north taylor in london, the top stories on how to 0 ukraine's defense ministry has accused russia of imperialism. altura russian general told state media of plans to seize all of southern and eastern ukraine. ukrainian military says russia stepping up attacks and on the entire eastern front line, while also trying to mount and offensive in the hockey region. the russian general wisdom at munich i have says moscow m to seize the don bus as well as the south, which will let them connect the crumb in peninsula to a russian backed break way region of moldova. that would mean pushing hundreds of
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kilometers beyond current from lines. those are varied. moscow has more on the criminals plans. well, according to the acting commander of the countries central, a military units at the task of the 2nd phase of the so called special military operation is to secure the areas in eastern and southern ukraine. and to establish a at land corridor that would stretch from russia all the way across to crimea at this commander saying that this is the number one priority for the russian military . now he also made a comment that his egg, very interesting. at this stage he said that this land corridor were also provide a further opportunity for russian forces to get closer to an area in moldova, known as chance trans, this trio, which is a break away region in moldova, that is a alongside the border with ukraine that the area shares about
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a 400 kilometer at to ukraine. and also the idea is that the, a russian speaking population in that area are in need of russian assistance, according to this military, a general who was speaking earlier on friday. now this is the 1st time we've heard about the any kind of aspirations there. russian military would have beyond the borders of ukraine. but also it indicates that there is a possibility that the russians would be looking at the towns and areas of. and nikolai, as well as odessa in southern ukraine, the mayor of mary paul has called for the evacuation of all civilians who are still stranded in the besieged city. but in boy chang close as around 100000 people, remain trapped. european council president is calling on vladimir putin to allow access to the city of the several humanitarian corridors were cooled off due to
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potential dangers. russian forces continued to surround a steel works in the city where thousands of ukrainian troops and civilians hold up . the un human rights offices, there's growing evidence of russian war crimes and ukraine, including signs of indiscriminate shelling and executions. spokesperson says, ukrainian forces also seem to have used weapons indiscriminately, but the vast majority of violations appears to be by russian troops. there is evidence mounting of war crimes being committed. ringback and these include indiscriminate shedding and bombing of populated areas. summary execution up to the indians. as i said, the vast majority of an issue is by far our attributes to the russian forces. so if you just look at the 2000000000 casual, bigger, 92.3 percent of what we've managed to record were recorded in government control territories. so attribute to the russian forces. russia's defense ministry says one
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sailor died and 27 others are missing. after one of its flagship miss, our cruises sank near southern ukraine last week. in a statement, the ministry says 396 sailors from the moscow were rescued. is the 1st time russia has admitted that the sinking lead to losses. although it previously said, all crew had been rescued. the kremlin says the moscow sank after a fire. ukraine says it hit the ship with a missile strike. a blast has ripped through a mosque and religious school in afghanistan, northern conduce province. taliban says at least 33 people were killed and 43 wounded is not clear who carried out friday attack those, the headlines do stay with us. the bottom line is up next. looking at to one american law that's despised by russian president vladimir putin. i'm more news feed after that, teach on that if you can ah
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hi, i'm steve clements and i have a question. we hear a lot about one of the strongest western sanctions against russia, the magnetic act. but what's the story behind it? and who was magnet ski? let's get to the bottom line. ah, ever since invading ukraine 2 months ago, rush has become the most sanction country in the world with more than 5000 specific sanctions targeting individuals, industries, companies and organizations. it's going to take months and perhaps years before russia feels the full force of these measures. and we saw some of the 1st effects just last weekend when you're a peon sanctions took effect against trucks from russia and bela russia. all told bo, keep about one trillion dollars in russian assets from flowing through the markets and banking systems of america and its partners. one of the most powerful western
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tools to isolate russia is the magnet ski act. a recent law that allows the u. s. government to sanction specific people identified as corrupt or human rights abusers. different versions of the law have already spread to the e. u, the u. k, canada and many other countries. and it's been a real born in the side of russian president vladimir putin since day one. so how and why did putin become so obsessed with this law? and how is it being used in russia and beyond? today we're talking with 2 of the people who've been personally involved in the magnet ski act from the beginning. congressman jim mcgovern is a democrat who is represented massachusetts in congress for more than 25 years. and wrote this circ a magnet ski rule of law accountability act and introduced its follow up the global magnets act in 2016 and bill router. the founder of hermitage, capital management, whose company was at one time, the largest foreign portfolio investor in russia. it's his lawyer, sergey magna ski, who allegedly was killed in a rush in jail in 20 o 9,
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setting off the chain of events that leads us to today. bill has just published his 2nd book telling his story, and it reads like a real thriller freezing order, a true story of money laundering, murder, and surviving mere putin's wrath. thanks to both of you for joining us. i just have to start at the beginning with a name survey magnet sky, and i just want to tell our audience, when you read this book, you'll learn or warmer us congressmen. dana roar, barker worked very hard to try to keep magnets keys name from being on a version a bill with their way to get to that in a moment. but tell us build router who's sergei? magnet sky was. sodium magnate, sky was my russian lawyer. i ran the largest for an investment fund in russia goal the hermitage fund. back in the nineties and early 2 thousands. my offices were i say that i started pointing out corruption and the companies i invested in the authorities didn't like that. they expelled me from the country, declared me a threat to national security rated my offices seized my documents. and those
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documents were used in a, in a complex and very cynical, $230000000.00 tax rebate fraud in which officials stole $230000000.00 in taxes. the my firm and paid my hired the smartest lawyer i knew in moscow, a guy named sergei, my netgear. at the time he was $35.00, he worked for an american law firm. he was the one who uncovered the fraud, figured out who was involved, testified against those officials. and in retaliation, he was arrested, tortured for 358 days and murdered in russian. police custody on november 16th, 2009. and it's been my mission since his murder, i put aside all of my business activities to go after the people killed him and make sure they faced justice. and that's where to i guess what we're going to talk about today and lead me to, to congressman mcgovern who eventually introduced maintenance key at counselor, mcgovern. you had been involved with writing this at the very beginning. i'd like
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to hear about it. but i also like to give our, our audience a sense that this was not a slam dunk in this country in the united states at the beginning. in fact, i think one of the shocking things to me as a journalist in the media, i look at law firms. i look at p r. firms. all of us have watched the events that bill bradley has been connected to unfold over years. and now we're acting. wow. so you were there early on. why were you there early on, and what is the magnet ski act do from your perspective? well, i co chair, the tom went to human rights commission and named after tom went to the only holocaust survivor that it served congress and we were doing a hearing bill broader testified before that hearing that was in a may of 2010 if i believe and i listen to him, tell the story of sergei meg lisky and the corruption and the human rights abuses that continued in russia. and, and i thought to myself, we were going to do something and kind of the,
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the usual thing that members of congress do as we issue a statement, or we use your press release, or we do something. and i said to him, after test, right, we, we, we need to put, we need to put this into legislator for me to pass a bill. ah, to make it clear to those who are guilty of corruption, human rights violations in russia. and quite frankly, around the world that there's a consequence, and it may not be a blanket sanction, but you will be sanctioned individuals will be sanction for bad behavior. and that's essentially what the bill does. it took us a couple years to, to get past and not everybody was universally excited about us passing it. there were people in the ministration at the time. oh, bama was president, but i don't think it would matter where there was a democrat or republican office who didn't like the fact that kind of congress was maybe micromanaging a little bit here. i don't think that's what we were doing, but we were giving them a tool to hold corrupt individuals and human rights abusers. accountable was
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senator john mccain was a big supporter of this act. i know senator roger wicker with both of whom i would put on the conservative and end of the republican party working with a liberal massachusetts as congressman jim mcgovern in there. so, you know, there was by park who were the opponents to this. i mean i, i just reading with dana wor, barker, jim, and i'm, i'm a somewhat stun. yeah, i mean, i don't, i don't know what planet dana roberto lives on. but he was somehow under the illusion that vladimir putin was not a bad tie. and there were some people, i think, in the mid ration the establishment at the time, who, who preferred us not to move forward legislatively. i but look that the story of sugar, magnus, he is incredibly powerful. the atrocities and the corruption of vladimir putin and those around him really are almost unequalled anywhere in the world. ah, and i thought, and again i give bill broader and the credit for this because he inspired us that
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we needed to do something beyond just isn't this terrible. and as you know, i mean, this became potent is number one obsession. he wanted to get to repeal the magnet ski, acta i appeal to donald trump and his advisors to get rid of it. but luckily we had people like john mccain, roger wicker, a ben kardon, who's a leader in the senate, a bipartisan group of senators, and congress, people who said, you know what, we're going to do something here will do something meaningful. and we did. but this would not have happened without bill broader and bringing the store attention. and i just want to say for the record that he's one of the most courageous people that i have ever met to my admire. his tenacity and not keeping up and understanding the that the, that survey magnet skis. a legacy is going to be that where he's with it,
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we are holding human rights abusers and corrupt officials in russia and around the world accountable for their actions. while thank you congressman jim mcgovern as well. we know you have to run, so we like to thank you for this time with us today. we're going to continue the conversation now with bill. ah, thank. well, right now, i bill i would, i, you know, argue that on vladimir putin's dashboard or maybe his dark board, there are 2 faces. there's bill browder and there is a president's a landscape ukraine. and you know, maybe there's a link between some of these, which we can get to in a moment, but it's rare her to find a case. i mean, look, i mean you're, you're a money manager and you may be great, but it's very odd to hear someone like vladimir putin obsessed with some one, like you. but it was in, in, in full, broad daylight in the meeting between donald trump and vladimir putin, where, where putin said, in response to trump talking about some g, r u officials that had been picked up in the united states. you know, maybe we could tre these or you know,
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extra dry them. if we'd only give up mister browder, vladimir putin said this in response. let's hear what president trump said. president putin was extremely strong and powerful in his denial to day. and what he did, is it incredible offer. he offered to have the people working on the case, come and work with their investigators with respect to the 12 people. i think that's an incredible off bill. browder did the president of the united states just offer to trade you in because of the magnet, because of these issues to the president of russia. that is as simple as that. i mean, i, i was, i normally live in london, but i was in the u. s. at the time. and, and i started getting my phones or lighting up with messages from all sorts of people saying, you gotta watch this thing. i was, i hadn't been watching it and i, i turned on the recording and indeed, so this was the summit in helsinki was taking place just after robert
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molar had indicted 12, russian. g r. u officers were hacking the 2016 election answer. the question to putin was, are you going to have these guys over and put and said, yeah, i'll hand them over if. if you hand over, if america hands a rebel browder and then they go to trump and as you said, you just said, trump said he thought that was an incredible offer. and so i was sitting there having all sorts of emotions, probably mostly negative emotions, swelling through my head at the imagining that a bunch of s black out s, u, v, 's from the department of homeland security. we're going to pull up any 2nd, grab me and put me on a rendition flight. but you know, when things come down and it took, by the way, it took trump 4 days, and a senate vote 98 to 0, not to hand me over. and before a trunk walked it back. and so those 4 days are pretty harrowing. but during those 4 days i also came to think that the maintenance guy act must be really important.
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if i've gotten under vladimir putin skin in such a profound way, right? also the other thing which is really important, really interesting, which is that couldn't never mentions the names of his enemies. right. almost if you listen to him say he says that man, that politician that lawyer for him to mention my name really shows how i'm living rent free in his brain at the moment. bill. you know, one of the other, just hard to miss dimensions of your book is that so many of the people you work with on this act worked to try to bring to big, you know, to understand where the money was going, have died or were poison one of these is, is latter mere car mercer and i guess my question to you in all of this is, you make a point in your book to talk about the good russians, the russians who are there to help one another. you talk about the doctor who save latter mirrors life when he was poisoned before. when you have
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a significant disagree of skepticism as well, about the players or how do you distinguish between good and bad in that system. and who are some of the other heroes that we should know about in the story? well, thank you for bringing up latimer care marizza, and am i should just to put some context for your viewers. to get the magnet ski act passed. it wasn't just me. i'm going to congressman mcgovern and others, and there was a whole sort of village of people doing that. and. and one of the most important questions that, that congress asked was, what are the russians think about a piece of legislation to freeze the assets of some of their corrupt individuals. and boris nymphs off, who is the leader of the opposition and vladimir care marizza, who is some of his, one of his proteges, would routinely cut, shook show up in parliament and, and congress all over the world with me. and they would give it that they would say it from the russian side, and they would say that the magnet scat was the most pro russian legislation that
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that's ever been introduced. because it, it sanctions, the crooks and criminals were stealing all the money from the russian people. and so vladimir ann boris went out there and said that. and boris was assassinated in february of 2015 in front of the kremlin. and then after that, vladimir was poisoned and he came within an inch of his life, of dying. it will literally and ah, and then they poisoned him again. and a couple weeks ago i was with him in london. we were both them speaking at a, at a fundraiser for victims of in ukraine of this russian war. and afterwards we had dinner and i, i said to him, are you going to come to my book party in washington? he said, yeah, i'm going to be there, but i'm going to moscow 1st and i said, no, you can't do that. they've already tried killing you twice. and he said, how can i not do that? i'm a leader in the opposition movement. i'm calling on russians to rise up against slam,
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reputed to, to, to, to defy him. and what are they going to think of i, if i'm not, if i'm too scared to go back to my own country, he went back to russia. he went back to moscow, right after our dinner. he was interviewed on cnn on cnn. he called vladimir putin, a murderer. in an hour later he was arrested and he's currently in custody in russia, in the custody of, of killers. and so when you talk about good russians and bad russians, there's a lot of bad russians in vladimir putin, some government. but we have to distinguish between effectively and occupied country occupied by criminals murderers. and then the people like bladder, mere cara moors, are they the heroes? and there's alexis of all me, who's currently in prison after they tried to kill him. and worse, never saw was no longer with us and, and many, many others. and so the russian people are uniformly in any way supporting this murderous war. there's, there's a lot of people who really, really don't want it. and, and the ones who are, are speaking out,
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are so brave because you're not allowed to say you don't want war. you know, even allowed to call it a war or you go to jail for 15 years, just calling it a war. and so it's a very fraught situation, but we have to understand that blended reputed is the one who's responsible for this is cronies around him. are responsible and, and he has, of course, co opted many russians, but we shouldn't tar every russian with this brush where you have a number of people that have come out and basically said in right in vladimir putin camp, that bill browder was the one who committed the criminal act bill browder was the one who killed circ, a magnet ski, that bill browder was the one who took this tax rebate, which your company had given to the russian government gotten a rebate. and he had engage in all these fraudulent schemes. it wasn't just the russians doing this, and i read about it in great detail and i book, i'd actually brush the russian intelligence services have co opted and paid explicitly. there's not even hidden a bunch of americans. p r agents,
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lobbyist lawyers, and other people in washington in new york to go round and tell their story and try to convince everybody that the russians are the good guys. and the victims are the bad guys. and we had, there's a very famous, some lobbyist in washington, a guy named glenn simpson. when simpson has, he was the guy from fusion gps that put together the trump dossier. and while he was working on the trump dossier he was working for the russians, trying to stop the magnet ski acts and tried to defame me in washington. look that until already and for a minute the book is complex and it's, it's fast thing to go through. you see banks that, you know, like the, you know, in denmark, donica bank with literally billions upon billions of dollars going through a small branch and telling estonia, and you see this woman, natalia vessel, nice guy who you were battling with over one of the companies that hit it, allegedly been part of the scheme that you were able to track,
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given the precision of, of american tracking of us dollars. you able to track one of the players to this in the u. s. you know, basically federal investigators were going after this, this company. and i guess in this, i'd love you to just tell us a little bit about that. but also sergei roll doogan who turns out be vastly richer than yo yo mom, a cello from russia. the richest cellist in the world that i've never heard of until reading your book. but you, you link all this to vladimir putin himself and that's something i've never seen done before. and perhaps you can tell us why you're on his dashboard. well, this is really an important story. so after surrogate magnets he was murdered. we my, my 1st priority was to get the maintenance gas past, which we've discussed. but my other priority was to figure out who got the $230000000.00 that he had expose the lead to his murder and. and we spent 10
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years with, with a team of full tamped full time investigators looking for that money. and as time passed, we were able to put together little bits and pieces which lead to the puzzle becoming clear. and one of the things we discovered was that that money went all over the world. you mentioned the tele vessel and this guy, and she was the lawyer for a, the son of a russian government official who got some of the money and then bought a whole bunch of properties in new york. we alerted the department of justice to those properties and they froze those properties and filed a federal forfeiture order, which ended in a settlement where the u. s. government got some got $6000000.00. but as we were doing the investigation, probably the biggest and most interesting discovery was that there was a guy who is who his name is sir gabriel doogan. he was a cellist from russia. so he played the cello in saint petersburg. and according to
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the panama papers, this particular cellist was worth a $2000000000.00. and. and where do you get all this money? he got the money from russian state banks, russian oligarchy. and then the obvious question is, why do it a cellist get all this money from all these people? why, i mean he, as you mentioned, yo yo mind because worth, i think 25000000 in this guy's worth 2000000000 ease of wit, richard, cellist and the answer is, and this is widely acknowledged by the u. s. government, by very, by the european union. that this particular cellist is a nominee for vladimir putin. he was coons, best friend in childhood. he's the godfather of when a student's daughters he introduced to guten to his 1st wife. right. and he's a guy in trust. and, and that the most interesting part of our investigation was we discovered that sort of a role diggins companies were connected to this. so the magnet ski case that they got some of the money and, and so if you put it all together,
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you link up all the dots. what we discovered is that latimer potent was a beneficiary of the crime. that sort of a magnet sky was killed over. and why is that so significant that explains why he was asking trump to hand me over. it explains why he was ready to ruin his relations with united states over the magnet sky at. it explains why he never prosecuted anybody who was obviously involved in the killing because he was part of the organized crime group. got the money. let me just ask you finally bill, you know, a freezing order, which is the title of this book. freezing order is an order of national government to freeze assets within a boundary of a government and you go through the various reason, orders that your efforts help stop. but let's be candid for a minute. $230000000.00 is a lot of money to me, but it's not a lot of money to vladimir putin. so a lot of money to governments. and so i guess to take the small attributes where you had and kind of look at that. how big is this network?
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what are your suspicions about how big the corruption in government and vladimir, you know, putin's other ro, dorgan's out there because it, what you've done just seems too small, given all of the heat you've taken for what's, what's really going on? well, at that, that's the let me call it the trillion dollar question. so what we discovered was, when we were looking for the all this money laundering, we discovered that 200000000 of the 230000000 of the crime that sergei magnet ski was killed over flowed through dam, sky bank and estonia, their branch. and so this was danish bank with a stony and branch, 200000000 flowed through that bank when we started to pull the strings. and we started working with some investigative journalists from denmark and other countries. we discovered that when all was said and done, it wasn't 200000000 going through that branch, but 230000000000 going to that branch of dirty russian money. so this is one bank,
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one branch of, of a danish bank, 230000000000. and so i would estimate that if we could lift the hood on everything, the total amount of money stolen by the potent regime since student 1st took power is a trillion dollars. and that explains why he's asking trump to hammer over that explains why he made it a single largest foreign policy priority to repeal the maintenance guy act. that explains why everything is, is focused on this, this piece of legislation in this investigation because couldn't understand that, that this was his achilles heel. his money in the west and all the money he stolen is what he's ultimately, that's what, that's what he was banking on. having using, using for war using for whatever he wanted to use it for. and now all of a sudden it's getting frozen by governments around the world as we speak. well, curtain foe build router, author of freezing order. thank you so much for being with us today. thank you. so
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what's the bottom line? what you heard today is not straight out of a jason bourne or a john car novel. it's real life. we're talking about billions upon billions of dollars sliding through global networks of money laundering and entry offshore havens. people who think they're way above the law. huge investments in property markets in america and in europe. you name it in these circles. if you raise your voice, you could be in big trouble. yes. today we do have the magnet ski act, but it took years to get here and these were years were western governments were giving lectures to the world about fighting corruption. and all these watchdog agencies, banks, law firms, and even the media sat on the sidelines. these days, folks around the world understand a lot more about how the rich and powerful operate. but sadly, quite a few brave people working with my guest the day will listen. they died in efforts to get the magnet ski. i passed in the u. s. and in other western countries, now that personal palaces and giant yachts are being confiscated around the globe, perhaps the rule of law can fight its way back and purge out enablers and push
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reset on the protections that rule of law societies are supposed to have. and that the bottom line, ah, on counting the cost sri lankan worst economic crisis in decades, what are the chances are a bailout, china's g d. p growth beats 1st quarter expectations. what could the economy grind to hold at our high fuel prices? pushing up demand for electric cars. counting the cost on al jazeera with a kids with
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bright blue hello norm taylor and under the top stories are now to sierra, ukraine's defense ministry is accused russia of imperialism. after a russian general told state media of plans to seize all of southern and eastern ukraine, ukrainian military says russia is stepping up attacks along the entire eastern front line. also trying to mount an offensive in the hockey region. russian general rooster munich, i have says moscow ames to seize the don bus as well as the south which will let them connect the tremendous sheila to a russian.


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