Now Russia puts a DEAD man on trial: Whistleblowing lawyer Sergei Magnitsky in the dock three years after his death

Daily Mail

A crusading Russian lawyer who died in custody three years ago is set to go on trial accused of tax evasion.

In what is believed to be the first trial of a dead defendant in Russian or Soviet history, Sergei Magnitsky, who died in prison in 2009, will be accused of tax evasion in a Moscow courtroom.

Today’s pre-trial hearing and subsequent trial will be held under rules designed to allow innocent parties to clear their names posthumously, but experts in the case expect a speedy conviction.

Mr Magnitsky, who was 37 when he died, represented London-based Hermitage Capital Management (HCM) and uncovered what he said was a web of corruption involving Russian tax officials and police officers.

In retaliation for his reporting his findings to authorities, he was arrested on charges of organising tax evasion for company executives. On November 16th 2009, he died of pancreatitis in a Moscow prison after being tortured and denied proper medical treatment.

Mr Magnitsky’s case became an international cause celebre and was seen by many as an example of Russian corruption still persisting under president Vladimir Putin.

Last December, the US Senate passed the Magnitsky Act, which blacklisted Russian officials accused of bribery and corruption, ensuring they could not get visas.

In retaliation to the US, Putin signed a Russian law barring Americans from adopting Russian orphans – a move critics said simply victimised innocent children.

Bill Browder, the head of HCM investment fund, for whom Magnitsky worked, said the forthcoming trial was organised as a response to America passing the Magnitsky Act, in a bid to prevent other countries around the world passing similar anti-corruption legislation.

Mr Browder, who is campaigning to encourage European countries to adopt similar laws, said: ‘This is just pure vindictive nastiness because they are trying to get some sort of conviction straight away.
‘They can then go around the world and say “Look, you’re naming a law after a convicted criminal”,’ he told the Financial Times.

Mr Magnitsky is posthumously accused of abusing tax incentives to help a company avoid paying taxes. He was jailed for these charges in 2008 after reporting authorities for a £125m web of corruption.
A year later, the whistleblower died in custody, officially of heart failure and toxic shock caused by pancreatitis.

But critics say he was tortured in a bid to get him to take back his accusations and denied medical help for his serious existing condition.

One report said he was taken to a small room with eight guards shortly before he was reported dead, and no first aid was given.

Russian authorities have not commented on the reasons behind the trial of the dead defendant. Such posthumous trials are normally only organised at the behest of dead people’s families when they wish to clear their names.

Mr Magnitsky’s family are boycotting his trial, forcing the court in Moscow to appoint defence lawyers. быстрые займы на карту срочный займ https://zp-pdl.com/online-payday-loans-cash-advances.php https://zp-pdl.com/how-to-get-fast-payday-loan-online.php займы на карту

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