Tags: russia | magnitsky | convicted | posthumous

Russia Convicts Dead Lawyer Magnitsky in Posthumous Trial

Thursday, 11 Jul 2013 06:00 AM

MOSCOW — A Moscow court convicted late investment fund lawyer Sergei Magnitsky on Thursday of tax evasion after Russia's first posthumous trial, a ruling that will further undermine President Vladimir Putin's reputation in the West.

The court also convicted Magnitsky's former client William Browder, a Briton who has spearheaded an international campaign to expose corruption and punish Russian officials he blames for Magnitsky's death in a Moscow jail while awaiting trial in 2009.

Browder was tried in absentia in the case, which has underscored the dangers faced by Russians who challenge the authorities and deepened U.S. and European concern over human rights and the rule of law in Russia.

Magnitsky died after a year in jail during which he said he was mistreated and denied medical care in an effort to get him to confess to tax evasion and give evidence against Browder, the head of investment fund Hermitage Capital Management.

The Kremlin's own human rights council has said there was evidence suggesting Magnitsky was beaten to death, but Putin has dismissed allegations of torture or foul play and told the nation last year that he died of heart failure.

Russian authorities closed the case against Magnitsky after his death but reopened it in 2011, in a move former colleagues say was illegal because they did not have the consent of his relatives.

"This show trial confirms that Vladimir Putin is ready to sacrifice his international credibility to protect corrupt officials who murdered an innocent lawyer and stole $230 million from the Russian state," Hermitage Capital said in a statement.

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A Moscow court convicted late investment fund lawyer Sergei Magnitsky on Thursday of tax evasion after Russia's first posthumous trial, a ruling that will further undermine President Vladimir Putin's reputation in the West.
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Thursday, 11 Jul 2013 06:00 AM
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