Dead Russian lawyer to go on trial next month

The trial of the whistleblowing Russian lawyer Sergei Magnitsky is to begin next month, even though he died in prison three years ago.

A Russian court ruled on Monday that the trial would begin on 4 March. Prosecutors accuse Magnitsky and his former client William Browder, a London-based investor, of evading $16.8m (£10.8m) in taxes.

The trial will be held under procedures allowing for posthumous trials to clear the deceased. Magnitsky’s relatives are boycotting the proceedings.

Magnitsky was arrested in 2008 while investigating an alleged $230m (£148m) tax fraud and died the following year after developing pancreatitis that was left untreated.

The US Congress passed a law sanctioning officials whom Browder accuses of involvement in the fraud. Russia in response banned adoptions by Americans.

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