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Prosecutors send to court "Magnitsky case" over 522-million-rouble tax evasion

November 29, 2012, 10:24 UTC+3

Sergei Magnitsky and William Browder are suspects

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Photo ITAR-TASS / Hermitage Capital fund

Photo ITAR-TASS / Hermitage Capital fund

MOSCOW, November 29 (Itar-Tass) — The Prosecutor General's Office /PGO/ sent to a court a criminal case over a 522 million rouble tax evasion where Sergei Magnitsky and William Browder are suspects, PGO spokeswoman Marina Gridneva told Itar-Tass.

"The Prosecutor General's Office endorsed the indictment in the criminal case against William Browder and Sergei Magnitsky, who were arraigned under Article 199, Part 2 of the Criminal Code for tax evasion amounting to 522 million roubles by falsifying tax declarations and illegally using the incentives for disabled persons," Gridneva said.

Criminal proceedings against Browder are taking place in absentia, as he avoids reporting to the investigative body, and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland of which he is a subject, refused legal cooperation with Russia in this issue.

"Due to the refusal by Magnitsky's relatives to stop criminal prosecution after his death, the criminal case, in accordance with Article 24 of the Criminal Procedure Code and the resolution by the Constitutional Court dated July 14, 2011, has been sent to a court for consideration on the merits," the spokeswoman added.

On November 2, the Interior Ministry said it had completed the posthumous criminal case against Magnitsky and sent it to the PGO for endorsing the indictment. On Wednesday, the PGO said the indictment had been endorsed.

Sources told Itar-Tass the trial might start before the end of this year.

Sergei Magnitsky, 37, an auditor of the British investment fund Hermitage Capital Management, died in an IT ward of the hospital on the premises of the Matrosskaya Tishina remand prison on November 16, 2009, seven days after he was officially charged with organizing and abetting grand tax evasion. He had spent 11 months in custody.

Forensic experts said Magnitsky had died of a combination of several illnesses, and untimely medical assistance as his health sharply deteriorated.

On November 30, 2009, the criminal case against Magnitsky was dropped because of his death. However the investigation was reopened at PGO instruction, based on a ruling by the Constitutional Court. The relatives of the diseased person reportedly opposed the move and complained about the on-going probe.

The Interior Ministry said to stop criminal prosecution of Magnitsky, the consent of all his close relatives was needed. Under Russian legislation, the close relatives are spouses, parents, children, siblings, grandparents and grandchildren.

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