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Moscow court finds lawful reopening of Magnitsky criminal case

April 03, 2012, 18:58 UTC+3

Magnitsky, 37-year-old attorney of the British investment fund, was charged with assisting tax evasion

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MOSCOW, April 3 (Itar-Tass) —— The Moscow Ostankino District Court has upheld the reopening of the criminal case of late Hermitage Capital Management attorney Sergei Magnitsky on the tax evasion charges. The court thus declined the appeal from Magnitsky’s mother.

Deputy Prosecutor General Viktor Grin cancelled the resolution, which ended the case due to the attorney’s death, in 2011 pursuant to the Constitutional Court judgment on the possibility of rehabilitation of late defendants.

Detective Boris Kibis from the Russian Interior Ministry’s Department in the Central Federal District told the court that they were prepared to drop the case by demand of the Magnitsky family but there would be no rehabilitation in that case.

Magnitsky’s involvement in tax crimes is proven with evidence, which means the case cannot be closed on rehabilitation grounds (due to the absence of formal elements of a crime) but it may be closed due to the suspect’s death, he said.

“If that is all right with them, the case will be closed immediately due to the suspect’s death. If not, the case will be filed at the court. The court may either acquit Magnitsky or may end the case due to the suspect’s death if it finds no grounds for his rehabilitation,” Kibis said.

The Magnitsky family was asked to meet with the detective for that purpose but never appeared, he said, adding that the family was filing protests instead.

Magnitsky, 37-year-old attorney of the British investment fund, was charged with assisting tax evasion. He died at the intensive care unit of the Matrosskaya Tishina prison infirmary on November 16, 2009, eleven months after he was taken into custody and seven days after he was indicted. Before his transfer to the infirmary, he had been staying at the Butyrskaya prison. Detectives said that Magnitsky was not given therapy on time. Two doctors were charged with his death.

The Magnitsky case was dropped on November 30, 2009, due to his death. Yet the case was reopened later by the Russian Prosecutor General’s Office order based on the Constitutional Court decision.

Magnitsky’s mother and lawyers refused to study the case and claimed illegal procedures “unregulated with the Criminal Code of Practice and violating constitutional rights and freedoms of Magnitsky and his family.”

“Being guided with the effective Russian laws the investigators must bring the case to the court for the consideration of its merits. The lawful representatives of the deceased and his lawyers may appeal the detective’s conduct in the established procedure and attend court hearings”, the Russian Interior Ministry’s Investigative Department said earlier.




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