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Preliminary hearing into Magnitsky's case begins after delay

Monday 04 March 2013
Russia

Published: 18 Feb 2013 | By Yafit Lazar and 4 others | Last updated: 18 Feb 2013
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Preliminary hearing into Magnitsky's case begins after delay -
Sergei Magnitsky's grave
Wikipedia-Dmitry Rozhko...
A preliminary hearing in the posthumous trial of whistleblower Sergei Magnitsky takes place at a Moscow court after having been delayed several times. Sergei Magnitsky has been accused of tax evasion worth 522 million roubles.


The hearing, which was supposed to take place on February 18, after having been initially scheduled for December 27 and later January 28, was adjourned after the Magnitsky family's defence lawyers refused to participate in what they deemed to be an "unconstitutional" process against a dead man.


Despite the defence's protests that it is illegal to try a dead man, Russia decided to open a fraud trial against Magnitsky, a lawyer whose prison death in 2009 led to the biggest US-Russia dispute in years.

Magnitsky, who was arrested in 2008 and spent nearly a year in poor prison conditions, died at the age of 37 of untreated illnesses. A report by the Kremlin human rights council said he was tortured and handcuffed in his final hours.


The lawyer, who before his arrest said he had uncovered a tax scam worth 5.4 billion roubles against the company he worked for, was charged with the same crimes he claimed to have uncovered. The case was closed after his death but then reopened in August 2011.


Investigators had said in February they planned to put the dead man on trial.


William Browder, the head of Hermitage Capital who was charged with the same crimes and will be tried in absentia, had led the campaign to punish those allegedly responsible for Magnitsky's death, which saw the US passing the Magnitsky Act, which blacklists such individuals.


In response, the Russian parliament has passed a law banning adoptions of Russian children by Americans.


President Vladimir Putin signed the law into effect in January.

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About this event
Created by Yafit LazarCreated by Yafit Lazar
on Thu 27 Dec 2012
Modified by Eva HSLast modified by Eva HS
on Mon 18 Feb 2013

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Location: Russia
Date: Monday 4 March 2013
Duration: 1 day
Planning: confirmed
Ended: 507 days ago

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Kevin O'Flynn

Senior Russia correspondent

Location: Moscow, Russia

Language: English

Kevin O'Flynn has lived and worked in Moscow as a reporter for the last nine years. Currently deputy to The Times of London's bu... moreKevin O'Flynn has lived and worked in Moscow as a reporter for the last nine years. Currently deputy to The Times of London's bureau chief, he also works for The Moscow Times and has freelanced for newspapers all over the world including the San Francisco Chronicle, The Globe and Mail and the Irish Examiner. Apart from news, he has a special interest in stories about football in Russia and the other former Soviet republics and architectural preservation. He has appeared a number of times on the BBC, Sky news and Canadian television.

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Adam Easton

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Adam Easton is based in Warsaw and has been a freelance correspondent for the BBC since 2003. He occasionally contributes featur... moreAdam Easton is based in Warsaw and has been a freelance correspondent for the BBC since 2003. He occasionally contributes features to CBC and Deutsche Welle. From 2000-03, Adam was based in Caracas, Venezuela where he was a freelance correspondent for the BBC and was the freelance oil and gas correspondent for Platts Energy Newswire. He has also done freelance work in Manila and was a reporter and editor for News Services and National News in London.

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Alexander Kleimenov

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Location: Kiev, Ukraine

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Alexander Kleimenov is a Kiev-based freelance journalist and producer who has worked for NPR, CBC, VOA, Oregon Public Television... moreAlexander Kleimenov is a Kiev-based freelance journalist and producer who has worked for NPR, CBC, VOA, Oregon Public Television and is ready to work for you.

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