Posts Tagged ‘lugovoy’

July 2013

Russian court convicts dead lawyer Magnitsky; case led to adoption ban

LA Times

A judge on Thursday found Sergei Magnitsky, a Russian whistleblower who died in custody in 2009, guilty of tax evasion, bringing an end to an unusual, posthumous trial that drew international condemnation and eroded U.S.-Russian relations.

The ruling against Magnitsky, a lawyer who disclosed an alleged multimillion-dollar scam, was largely symbolic. Judge Igor Alisov of Moscow’s Tverskoy district declared the case closed and there was no judgment against Magnitsky’s estate.

However, Magnitsky’s former boss, William Browder, CEO and co-founder of the investment fund Hermitage Capital Management, was also found guilty of tax evasion and sentenced to nine years in a Russian prison camp. He had been tried in absentia as part of the same case and said he will stop traveling to Russia or allied countries where he might face arrest.

In a telephone interview from New York, Browder called the court ruling “one of the most shameful moments for Russia since the days of Josef Stalin.”

Some human rights activists, including those close to the Kremlin, called the ruling against Magnitsky and the trial itself absurd.

“It is not the most appropriate of judicial decisions taken in Russia in recent times, putting it mildly,” said Mikhail Fedotov, the chairman of the Presidential Council on Civic Society and Human Rights, a Kremlin advisory body. “Besides, the dead can’t be tried by any human court; it is up to history to try them.”

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