Sergei Magnitsky trial: ‘it’s not illegal to try a dead man’, says judge

Daily Telegraph

A Moscow judge has refused calls to halt the posthumous prosecution of Sergei Magnitsky, ruling on the first day of the trial that it was not illegal to try a dead defendant.

Mr Magnitsky, a lawyer whose case became an international cause célèbre, died in a pretrial detention centre in the city in 2009 aged 37 after being arrested by senior Russian police officers whom he had accused of colluding with tax officials in a £140m fraud. He was denied vital medical treatment and beaten in custody.

In November 2012, prosecutors charged the dead man himself with tax evasion, citing a recent Russian Constitutional Court decision that suggested a deceased defendant could be tried if his family requests it in order to clear his or her name.

Mr Magnitsky’s widow, Natalya Zharikova, 40, said in an interview with the Daily Telegraph this week that she and his mother had repeatedly informed authorities that they did not want such a trial, making it illegal.

That view was supported on Friday by the Human Rights Institute of the International Bar Association, a lawyers group, which issued a statement saying the posthumous trial was “unlawful and breaching both domestic and international covenants”.

However, Judge Igor Alisov turned down a request by court-appointed lawyers to investigate the legality of the trial at Moscow’s Tverskoy Court.

Judge Alisov’s ruling to continue the trial came despite one of the lawyers – who was state-appointed to represent Mr Magnitsky’s relatives when their own legal representatives refused to take part – saying he wanted to be removed from the process.

The lawyer, Nikolai Gerasimov, said he could not continue when he did not have the consent of the dead defendant’s family. His request was declined.

Also on trial in the same process – in absentia – is the London-based financier Bill Browder, who runs an investment fund for which Mr Magnitsky worked. He has called the prosecution “a ridiculous Stalinist show trial”.

On Friday, the court heard a brief outline of accusations that Mr Browder and Mr Magnitsky colluded to employ large numbers of disabled people as “fictional employees” in order to reduce their tax burden.
The trial resumes on March 27. займ онлайн hairy girl https://zp-pdl.com https://zp-pdl.com unshaven girl

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