A corrupt former police officer who was caught working with Trump Tower lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya has revealed in a Swiss court how Russia’s complex foreign influence campaign targets justice systems in Western countries.
The former consultant to the Swiss Federal Prosecutor’s Office was sacked and convicted after his entanglement with Veselnitskaya and the Russian prosecutor general’s office was exposed. He reportedly told a court in Switzerland this week that he discussed a high-profile corruption case against Russia with Russian officials during an all-expenses-paid hunting trip to Siberia.
On the visit to the spectacular Kamchatka Peninsula and Lake Baikal, the official, who is identified only as Victor K., reportedly admitted that he spent a week fishing, enjoying the rugged countryside, and hunting for bear, including from a helicopter, with officials from the Russian prosecutor general’s office.
Victor K. told the appeals court Tuesday that he had conferred with the Russian officials on the trip about the high-profile Magnitsky case, which he was supposed to be investigating. The $230 million fraud against the Russian people was uncovered by Sergei Magnitsky, who was subsequently detained and beaten by Russian officials, who left him to die in a prison cell.
The case led to American sanctions against Russia, which were signed into law by President Obama in 2012, after a campaign by U.S.-born financier Bill Browder. While the Swiss authorities originally froze millions connected to the Magnitsky case that flowed through Switzerland nine years ago, the case has stalled.