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The witness in the Magnitsky criminal case found dead in Britain

November 29, 2012, 12:09 UTC+3

Perepilichny was named as “super important” witness and informer of Swiss investigators, who investigated transfer of Russian budget funds to accounts of banks in that country

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On Wednesday, it was reported in Britain about the death of Russian businessman Alexander Perepelichny, 44, who was one of the main witnesses in the investigation in the Magnitsky criminal case by the Swiss law enforcers. The witness was found dead in his house in Britain. The police failed to find the cause of his death yet.

The British newspaper The Independent reported about the death of Alexander Perepelichny in an article on Wednesday, the Kommersant daily reported. The article reported that the Russian businessman was found dead back on November 17 by his acquaintances not far from the house, which Perepelichny rented in the town Weybridge, where he lived with his family after he was granted political asylum in Britain. The police did not find the traces of the violent death. The police believe that Perepelichny, 44, died during the jogging, most likely of a heart attack. Meanwhile, the police noted that the deceased man did not have any health problems and the forensic expertise is not over.

Alexander Perepilichny was named as “a super important” witness and informer of Swiss investigators, who were investigating the transfer of Russian budget funds to the accounts of the banks in that country, the Novye Izvestia daily reported. In 2007 auditor of the Hermitage Capital Foundation Sergei Magnitsky exposed a criminal scheme of the tax inspectors and officials of the Interior Ministry, who misappropriated 5.4 billion roubles from the Russian budget. Magnitsky was arrested in 2008 and accused of the crime. In 2009 Magnitsky died at the Moscow detention centre Matrosskaya Tishina.

As for Alexander Perepilichny, he is known as a partner of Vladlen Stepanov, whom Sergei Magnitsky accused of money laundering, the newspaper noted. Stepanov claimed Perepilichny owed a big sum of money to him, and not returning it, he fled to Britain, asking for political asylum. Perepilichny allegedly provided the unmasking information about Stepanov to the Hermitage Capital Foundation, which submitted the criminal materials to the law enforcers.

This is Perepilichny who was one of the main witnesses against the so-called Klyuyev’s group, which is a certain criminal organization that is allegedly involved in Sergei Magnitsky’s death, the Moskovsky Komsomolets daily reported. At first he was one of the members of this group, but three years ago quitted it and escaped to Britain, where he lived in a luxurious estate St. George’s Hill in the county Surrey. The rental fee for the mansion, which the late Russian occupied, reached 12,500 pounds (20,000 dollars) monthly.

The Swiss Prosecutor’s Office inquired in the money laundering case at the request of the British investment foundation Hermitage Capital, where Magnitsky worked.

The video film “Russian Untouchables” is based on Perepilichny’s testimony. Former Magnitsky’s colleagues posted the film in the Internet. The film showed in detail that people, who are reportedly involved in the death of the lawyer at the detention centre, became rich unexpectedly. The so-called Magnitsky list is also based on the testimony of the informant.


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