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US disappointed by Russian court verdict in Magnitsky case

July 12, 2013, 4:34 UTC+3

"We are disappointed by the unprecedented posthumous criminal conviction," Jen Psaki said

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WASHINGTON, July 12 (Itar-Tass) - The United States is disappointed by a Moscow court’s posthumous guilty verdict for auditor Sergei Magnitsky announced on Thursday, July 11, Department of State Spokesperson Jen Psaki said.

“We are disappointed by the unprecedented posthumous criminal conviction,’ she said.

“The trial was a discredit to the efforts of those who continue to seek justice in his case. Despite widely publicised credible evidence of criminal conduct resulting in Magnitsky’s death, the authorities have failed to prosecute those responsible,” Psaki stressed.

The U.S. Administration continues “to call for full accountability for all those responsible for Magnitsky’s wrongful death”, she said and reaffirmed that the U.S. would continue to support the efforts of those in Russia who seek to hold those individuals accountable.

Andreas Gross of Switzerland, the Rapporteur on “Refusing impunity for the killers of Sergei Magnitsky” for the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), also expressed disappointment at the guilty verdicts pronounced by the Moscow court.

“Having studied the background of the death of Sergei Magnitsky intensively over the past eight months, I must say that I am very disappointed, though not really surprised by these judgments: they appear to be a continuation of the official cover-up I described in my draft report published in June. I will study the judgments in detail and comment on them in an update to my draft report which will be discussed by the Assembly’s Legal Affairs and Human Rights Committee on September 4,” he said in a statement.

On July 11, Moscow Tverskoi District Court Judge Igor Alisov pronounced British foundation Hermitage Capital Management CEO William Browder and Sergei Magnitsky guilty in two episodes of tax evasion to a total sum of over 522 billion roubles.

Magnitsky, a 37-year-old attorney of the British investment fund Hermitage Capital Management, was charged with assisting in 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.

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