Monday, February 18, 2013

Dead lawyer to go on trial in Russia

By Charles Clover and Courtney Weaver in Moscow
Last updated: February 17, 2013

The posthumous trial of Sergei Magnitsky, a crusading lawyer who died in prison in 2009, is set to begin in Moscow on Monday. The trial is part of an effort by Russia’s government to push back against countries adopting blacklists similar to the Magnitsky law passed last December by the US.
As far as anyone can remember, it will be the first trial of a dead defendant in Russian, or Soviet, history and most expect a speedy conviction.
Bill Browder, the head of investment fund Hermitage Capital, and Mr Magnitsky’s former chief, says he believes the trial is connected to the passage last December of the Magnitsky law in the US, which imposes a visa blacklist and asset freezes on certain Russian officials accused of human rights violations……. Magnitsky is accused of abusing tax incentives to help a company avoid paying taxes in 2001......after he accused several high-ranking police officials of perpetrating a $230m tax fraud. He died in prison after a year in which he refused to recant his accusations against the police..... legal problems.......there is the statute of limitations, secondly, he had nothing to do with the company in question, and thirdly, he’s dead,”
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