Denial of Justice

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While Sergei Magnitsky was kept in pre-trial detention as a hostage of the corrupt officials who participated in the theft of $230 million from the Russian people and who were determined to conceal their crime – he was denied by authorities all legal recourse to challenge his unlawful detention or to protest the torturous and inhumane conditions that were created for him.

After Sergei Magnitsky testified and named the Interior Ministry officers involved in the massive theft, those same officers submitted false documents to justify bringing a case against Magnitsky, and then they led the investigation of that case, and then they fabricated evidence to justify Magnitsky’s detention for 12 months without trial.

While Magnitsky was in pre-trial detention all laws and procedures were broken to create tortuous conditions in order to pressure him to withdraw his testimony against the Interior Ministry officers and to make him falsely accuse himself and his client. Sergei Magnitsky’s response to the pressure and gross abuse of his rights and freedoms was to document them and challenge the violations in petitions. He filed complaints about each and every unlawful step by his captors. He filed these complaints with the Russian Interior Ministry, General Prosecutor, and courts and in every case, in flagrant violation of the law, his complaints were either ignored or denied without any consideration.

During 358 days in detention he wrote over 400 complaints and petitions seeking justice. Magnitsky challenged his:

  • unlawful retaliatory persecution by Interior Ministry officers as a clear conflict of interest,
  • his unlawful arrest by those officers on false grounds,
  • the pressure exerted upon him, his cruel and inhumane treatment,
  • his denial of medical care, and
  • the continuation of his detention and prosecution despite the clear evidence of his innocence.

Magnitsky also challenged individual violations including:

  • his unlawful transfers between detention centers,
  • the concealment from his relatives and lawyers of where he was detained,
  • the seizure by the investigator of his power of attorney to prevent him from filing a complaint with the Constitutional court,
  • the obstruction in filing his complaints and receiving correspondence so he could not physically defend himself via legal channels,
  • the denial of access to case documents and the refusal to provide copies of those documents.

His complaints were universally ignored or refused, on unreasoned grounds, often in a tone that was not only intentionally degrading but which left no doubt that no consideration was being given or would be given to his complaints. Despite this, Sergei Magnitsky held strong belief that he would be able to obtain justice and was preparing to denounce his captors in an open trial. Tragically, he was not given that chance by the Untouchables. Sergei’s life was cut short on 16 November 2009.

See select complaints by Sergei Magnitsky showing how he was denied justice. Read the replies and denials of Magnitsky’s complaints by state officials and judges below:

19 May 2009 – Denial by officer Pechegin of Russian General Prosecutor Office of Magnitsky’s complaint about the unlawful transfer and pressure in new detention center.
[Download this document in PDF]

14 May 2009 – Denial by Judge Ukhnaleva of the Tverskoi district court to allow Magnitsky’s wife, a qualified lawyer, to represent him.
[Download this document in PDF]

3 July 2009 – Denial by Judge Ukhnaleva of the Tverskoi district court of Magnitsky’s complaint about the concealment from relatives of his transfer to a new detention center.
[Download this document in PDF]

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