Canada’s Magnitsky Act may cause big ripples in Hungary and the U.S.

Bill S -226, which recently passed both the Senate and the House of Commons in Canada, may cause some sleepless nights for Hungarian strongman, Viktor Orbán, as he races towards an unprecedented third consecutive term in office in Hungary’s upcoming national elections. It may also have some unintended side-effects on the investigation into Russia’s intervention into last year’s US presidential elections .

The new Canadian legislation promises restrictive measures in respect of foreign nationals responsible for gross violations of internationally recognized human rights legislation and to make related amendments to the Canadian Government’s Special Economic Measures Act and to its Immigration and Refugee Protection Act. The Canadian law has aroused the anger of Russian President Putin, whose personal financial empire, reportedly worth 40 billion US, is spread far and wide among various offshore banks and holdings. The new Canadian legislation may also snare his closest political disciple, the leader of Hungary’s Mafia State, Viktor Orbán.

The Canadian law, along with the one in the US is named for Sergei Magnitsky, a Russian lawyer who died in prison under mysterious circumstances after investigating a tax fraud engineered by Putin and his associates. British businessman, Bill Browder, who was a business associate of Magnitsky, has been a prominent campaigner for these kinds of laws in Western countries. As soon as Canada passed its new Act, Russia instructed Interpol to arrest Browder and ship him to Russia. It took American and EU officials 48 hours to reverse the Interpol sanctions against Browder, who is a constant target of Russian assassination attempts.

Bill Browder speaking on CBC.

In an interview, with Global News, one of Canada’s largest News networks, Browder said: “I am one hundred per cent sure that this action was a direct result of my advocating for seven years for the Canadian Magnitsky Act and having it finally succeed.” As the first indictments by the Special Prosecutor in the USA into Russia’s interference in the US elections are being executed, we should be reminded: It was Russia’s effort to lobby the Trump campaign for changes in the American Magnitsky Act that catapulted Donald Trump Jr, Paul Manafort, Jared Kushner into the limelight after they met last June with lawyers close to the Russian President.

The new Act forbids Canadian business dealings with foreign nationals who are “responsible for, or complicit in, extrajudicial killings, torture or other gross violations of internationally recognized human rights.” The Orbán regime fits the bill to a T. Orbán and his Party are allegedly the beneficiaries from a multi billion dollar global slush fund, put together by the Azerbaijan Dictator, Ilham Aliyev, to whitewash his human rights abuses in the global mass media and among Western politicians. Orbán is one of the loudest promoters of the ruthless Azeri Dictator. According to Transparency International’s 2015 Corruption Perception Index, Azerbaijan was ranked 119th out of 168 countries compared to 2001, when it was ranked 87th out of 90 countries. Hungary is a bit better, but according to TI, OECD and EU studies, the Hungarian government is the leading abuser of EU funds, within the European Union, and government sanctioned corruption is rampant in this country.

After a visit last year with his Azeri benefactor, Orbán consented to the dictator’s demand to free a vicious Azeri murderer from a Hungarian jail, where he was spending time for murdering an innocent Armenian citizen with an ax. The Azeri Dictator considers the jailed Azeri murderer as a national hero and wanted him home. Orbán and his Party were allegedly paid 7 million US for releasing the murderer to a hero’s welcome in Azerbaijan. So where is the American connection?

The Azeri Dictator’s last election campaign in 2013 was coordinated by the now deceased Arthur J. Finkelstein, a well known Republican strategist and a trusted associate of Roger Stone, Paul Manafort and Donald Trump. Finkelstein and his partner, George Birnbaum, another Republican insider close to the Trump team, also served as Orbán’s chief political strategists during the past decade. They cornered the market among the far flung corrupt dictatorships of the former Soviet Empire. The Operations Manager of the Azeri Dictator’s election campaign was also a trusted Republican with ties to Trump, Jo Anne Barnhart, who happens to be the current head of the Orbán government’s lobby group in the US – the Magyar Foundation. J.D. Gordon, National Security Advisor to the Trump Team and the deputy of Jeff Sessions during the campaign, was a frequent visitor to the Hungarian embassy in Washington and to Budapest. He publicly reassured Orbán’s team, that Trump will be a great friend of the Hungarian Dictator, after he is in the White House. Jeff Session wrote a personal letter to the Hungarian Ambassador in Washington on September 20th, in which he wrote that „Hungary now serves as a global beacon for the power of freedom, democracy and human rights. Economic prosperity flows from democratic traditions and Hungary is proof of this rule.” (Letter of Jeff Session to Ambassador Réka Szemerkényi. September 20, 2016.) Szemerkényi frequently boasted in Washington diplomatic circles, that she had the closest ties to the Trump team in the White House. Once the Congressional investigations started in February of this year, this kind of bravado became a threat to Trump as well as to Orbán. Szemerkényi was summarily fired, without any explanation, and taken out of the limelight. When pressed by journalists for why he fired one of his closest comrades, Orbán shrugged slyly and said, „I don’t concern myself with womens’ issues.”

Orbán’s government has been censured by the UN Commissioner on Human Rights, as well as by the European Union, for numerous Rule of Law and Human Rights violations over the years. (Most recently, on May 17th of this year, by a majority vote of the EU Parliament.) Orbán is described by many, including the American Republican Senator John McCain, as a „ruthless dictator” and as the head of the European Union’s only Mafia State. He has reason to worry about Canada’s new Magnetsky Act.

Russian deputy foreign minister Sergey Ryabkov promised swift retaliation against Canada. It remains to be seen how Hungary will respond to the Canadian challenge, that threatens to turn up the heat under Orbán, who is heading to the polls in a national election slated for April 2018. He has been reportedly angling for an official visit to the White House, and to Canada before the April elections to demonstrate his respectability back home. This new Canadian Legislation may jeopardize his aggressive lobbying efforts.

We, along with others, have reported on the Russian Secret Services deep penetration into Hungary and on the Orbán government’s partnership role in the Russian efforts to influence the outcome of the last US elections. (See: András B. Göllner. „The Budapest Bridge”. Hungarian Free Press, April 13, 14, 21, 2017, and its sequel „Creatures in the Budapest Hills”. The latter identified by name the army of Alt-Right extremists who flocked to Hungary during last year’s presidential race to provide fodder to the the Robert Mercer funded, and Cambridge Analytica co-ordinated bot campaign, against Hillary Clinton.)

The new Canadian legislation is bound to raise quite a few ripples in Hungary, as well as among investigators into Russia’s and possibly Hungary’s role in last year’s US elections.

András Göllner

24 Comments

  1. Putting aside the hypocrisy of such a law, which targets certain countries based on current ideological interests, by invoking with much cynicism “human rights”, I think Mr Gollner should also realize that he and people like him who continue to call for sanctions against Hungary are responsible for the dwindling of suport among ordinary Hungarians for any party that is left of center, which are seen as being aligned with same interests. Just look at the latest poll reported right here on this site. Keep this up and soon all left parties will be under 5%, with only Fidesz and Jobbik left on the scene. I personally do not want to see that, even though I currently loathe most of Hungary’s left.

    And getting back to the hypocrisy issue, when it comes to human rights, if same principles were to be applied to all countries as listed in that bill, Canada would have to sanction about 80% of the countries in the world. Just think of Muslim-majority countries and their records on women’s or gay rights for instance. If same principles were to be fairly applied as Mr. Gollner suggests in regards to Hungary, Canada would be left with no one to speak with but itself. So let us start by being honest and dropping the pretense in regards to this law, before anything.

  2. Unlike the United States under Trump, Canada actually has the credibility to exercise moral leadership on the world stage. It should use this moral clout to send a message to the “Genius of the Carpathians.” As for a visit: I hope Trudeau does not role out the red carpet for Orban. It’s good news that he won’t get that coveted visit with Trump. I predict Trump will resign before March 31, 2018…before Orban has the chance to get his photo op.

  3. @ Peter

    “Putting aside the hypocrisy of such a law”. Peter, that’s how Putin’s lawyer started her conversation with Manafort, and Don Jr in Trump Tower, last year. Look where Manafort is today. If I were Orbán, I’d lace up my running shoes. The RCMP, always gets its man.

    • I could care less who says what! Fact is that such a law is smeared in hypocrisy, which is my own judgement on it. Why doesn’t Canada go after the Saudis for executing people because they are gay or Shiite? Point is that if a country is to invoke such noble concepts as human rights when introducing such a law, it should at least try to be constant in the application of such concepts. BTW, perhaps other countries should also start targeting Canada for being a criminal state, founded on the lands taken away from the aboriginals, on which you guys built your multikulti farce. And please stop your delusions in regards to this in any way affecting Viktor Orban. You are only harming yourself and your credibility.

  4. Peter, you’re getting a tad hot under the collar, aren’t you? It’s OK, I understand. It has been a tough and long day for the trumpian alt-right, hasn’t it? I fret it’s all down hill from here, so maybe invest in some Xanax. Hey, who d’ya think is next on the perp walk? Kushner? Don Jr? Flynn?

  5. Hi Balthazar!!!I think you need a Xanax…..and I think You are one of those hungarien speeking who try to be a well known about everything ….please go back to Hungary to live there for soso ….and get a real picture …..Are You in the US ??? Because is this the different SOSO !!!!!!!!!

  6. @ Peter

    “I could care less who says what!”

    If that is not a marvelous example of closed mindedness, I don’t know what is. Thank you for revealing your true identity Peter, Peter, Pumpkin Eater. Perhaps it’s time to eat a bit of humble pie. 🙂 🙂

    • Just have one question for you: What was the point of listing your credentials meant to justify your authority as an author, if this is the quality of your arguments? Any relatively objective and intelligent human being who would read our exchange will see the fact that you made no attempt to debate me on the issues I raised. Arguments, such as “Putin’s lawyers”??? Seriously? I am sure if I were to bother to search, I would find many common things between some of the things that you said and things that Hitler, Stalin, Mao or Pol Pot may have said at some point. But will that really make for a relevant argument? As for the cynical mis-characterization of the sentence you quoted me on? Simply pathetic! I think I now understand a little bit more in regards to why half of university graduates end up working at Starbucks, or in the case of your students at Tim Horton’s, while most of the rest only get a decent job because their parents know someone. I can tell you this much, if I was the parent of one of your students and I would read this exchange, I would have even more reason to question the value of paying for that tuition.

  7. Peter,
    Do you know that Hungary is in the EU where Western civilized laws govern? If you belong to a club you have to abide by its regulations.
    Hungary deserves to be kicked out of the EU and join the Russian block and practice governing as it is done in Azerbaijan and Turkey.

    • Karl Busch

      The Orban regime IS PRACTICING the Aliev, Erdogan, methods in the sense of both implementation and training, e.g. some repression methods are still run as pilot projects, e.g.
      – the wealth of Orban is estimated at min 165 billion Ft = $ 590 million, all from public contracts,
      – Approx. 96% of the whole media is controlled by the regime
      – ALL nominally independent institutions have been taken over by party soldiers
      – Parliament has been practically abolished
      – Attacks against critics and independent organizations have been stepped up with branding them enemies, traitors and with threats of investigation, imorisonment and liquidation.
      – Some Kafkaesque show trials have been conducted, e.g. the latest against an Ahmed H sentenced to ten years in prison for terrorism – for throwing something at police and shouting something in loudspeaker.
      Etc, etc.

      As practice make good, Hungary is following close the above dictatorships.

    • “civilized laws”!!! You mean like the migrant quotas meant to settle colonists on lands inhabited by distinct native European cultures? That is about as “civilized” as China’s policies in Tibet!

      Other than that, you are also forgetting that Hungary entered the EU as a full member, thus it also has the right to have an opinion, push for changes, and defend its sovereign rights as a state. It is the EU which did not uphold its end on that one, because at no point did any EU country relinquish their sovereignty over migrant issues through any EU treaty.

      • Peter
        What are u talking about ? The Orban BS, when there no refugees in Hu, but the 20 000 he let into the EU for his own enrichment in the magnitude of 100+ billion Ft?
        The OECD is the civilized world and the Orban mafia state is joining the Azeri and other -stans in the dictators bunch.
        However withou oil and gas poor Hu is going steadily down and down.

      • And pls don’t talk about culture – there is little but kitsch in Orban’s fascist regime.

        It’s again the Hu irredentist spiteful bitching and blaming everyone else.

  8. Observer, Thank you very much for making my intended message more clear, detailed and precise.

  9. @ Peter

    You must be a great guy in the kitchen. Love the way you stew. 🙂

  10. Robert Morrison says:

    karl busch on October 31, 2017 at 3:54 am

    “Do you know that Hungary is in the EU where Western civilized laws govern? If you belong to a club you have to abide by its regulations.”

    I guess you have a point here. What about influencing the regulations? What about pointing out the flaws of the regulations? What about the right to refuse to comply with part of the regulations that are harmful to you, but acceptable for others in the club?

    Btw. When you mentioned the “civilized laws” are you referring to gang-raping women on the streets of Sweden without any consequences because they dressed to the dislike of the immigrants? Or water-cannon treatment of German demonstrators against mass sexual harassment of women in Dusseldorf? Or the financing of illegal migration to the EU by the Open Society Foundation?

    Open your eyes and ears, to see and hear what the people on the streets of Hungary do and say not what the left-lib media pushes in front of you. Hungarians will re-elect Fidesz and Orbán because of the very reason you mentioned: “EU …laws govern …. have to abide by its regulations”.

    Hungarians want to belong to the Club they originally joint and they do not accept unilateral changes forced upon them by drunken idiots of the EU. Since there is no other political party that represent their views and values the voters have no choice but to keep the current government. It is the left to be blamed for it.

  11. According to top EU politicians HUNGARY would NOT be allowed to join the EU with the current autocratic, corrupt regime in power.

  12. HFP
    I again appeal to block Robert M to give him some time to consider his style and repetitive nonsense / lies, e.g.
    the whole paragraph “Btw. ..gang-raping women on the streets of Sweden without any consequences …”
    Or the nonsensical “What about the right to refuse to comply with part of the regulations that are harmful to you, but acceptable for others in the club?”.

    Then we may have some evidence, references presented, instead of the incessant propaganda mantra of Orban’s Ministry or truth, which brings no value to the blog, but rather detracts some.

  13. @ Observer

    Robert M is one of the hardest working trolls of the Orbán regime – he uses multiple masks, aliases to hide his identity. His inability to stay clear of this space, is evidence of his frustration with us. Our sources tell us, that he is none other than István Lovas, the alt-right, crypto-fascist buddy of those Jew baiting neo-Nazis, Zsolt Bayer, and András Bencsik. Just tell him – “take a hike Pisti”, kick a little sand in his face, and the troll begins to have kittens. 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *