Microsoft Avoids Taking Responsibility for its Representative's Action in Anastasia Denisova's Case
On April 15 “Transparency international – Russia” and Human Rights Center “Memorial” received an official reply from Corporation “Microsoft-Russia” to their common appeal, where NGOs expressed their concern about involvement of the company in non-transparent schemes and in notorious criminal cases against civil activists and human rights defenders. Although the appeal was sent to the headquarters in the USA, the reply came form the legal affairs department of Microsoft-Russia.
Alexandr Strakh, intellectual property attorney of Microsoft-Russia, underlines that all actions of the Microsoft representatives are strictly regulated by the company and that is why Microsoft involvement in corruption schemes is out of the question. It is possible that these are some fraudsters who claim to represent Microsoft without having any authority to do so. In terms of corporation stance on politically motivated criminal cases against independent mass media and non-profit organizations, Alexandr Strakh points out that cases of “Novaya Gazeta” and Baikal Ecological Wave were initiated, investigated and brought by Russian authorities without any prior knowledge of Microsoft. Microsoft attorneys participate in the cases mainly to assist in the evidence evaluation and the calculation of any damages.
In this reply there are no comments about criminal charges against Anastasia Denisova, the head of non-profit organization “ETHnICS”, which was mentioned in the appeal along with “Novaya Gazeta” and Baikal Ecological Wave cases.
At the same time Ivan Ninenko, the Deputy Director of Transparency international – Russia, informed us about his recent official meeting with Microsoft-Russia, devoted to anti-corruption actions against representatives of Microsoft in the regions of Russia. At this meeting Alexandr Strakh stated that in Anastasia Denisova's case Microsoft is going to limit its role to evaluation of evidence and the damage calculation. He discounted any possibility of bringing a civil action against Anastasia as Mr. Ivut stated in the written record of his questioning as a solid intention. At the same time a pack of documents about involvement of the representative into the initiation of the case and the accuracy of software cost estimation was handed over to the attorney. Mr. Strakh promised to look into the case.
In this way, it is still unknown, what other actions of corporation representative in the South of Russia contradict with the Microsoft-Russia authorities' position in the criminal case against non-profit organization “ETHnICS”