Posts Tagged ‘stefan schmitt’

June 2012

Destruction of Samples in Magnitsky Case Appears to be a Deliberate and Calculated Attempt to Prevent Justice

Physicians for Human Rights

Physicians for Human Rights (PHR) today raised concerns over the cremation of tissue, organs, and other samples in the death investigation of 37-year-old lawyer Sergei Magnitsky. Given the ongoing and controversial nature of the investigation, destruction of the samples by the Russian authorities is contrary to best practices within any judicial system.

Magnitsky, a Russian lawyer investigating a corruption case for a client, UK-based investment firm Hermitage Capital Management, died following 358 days in police custody in Moscow in November 2009. Magnitsky, who had uncovered an alleged $230 million tax fraud perpetrated by a group of senior police officers and government officials, was arrested on November 24, 2008 and charged with tax evasion. The high profile case has focused international attention on human rights abuse and corruption in Russia.

PHR’s experts, including a leading forensic pathologist, reviewed available documentation to provide an independent voice in support of the Magnitsky family. In April, Russian officials turned down a formal request by Magnitsky’s mother, seeking PHR’s independent investigation into her son’s tragic death.

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