A trial gets under way in Moscow later today of an anti-corruption lawyer who died in custody.
Sergei Magnitsky was arrested shortly after accusing state officials of a $230 million theft.
He died in 2009 in pretrial detention after nearly a year in jail on suspicion of tax fraud. His death sparked an international outcry and caused tensions between Washington and Moscow.
Last year, the United States passed legislation — known as the Magnitsky Act — to punish officials linked to his death as well as other Russians deemed to have committed rights abuses.
Following that, Russia introduced a ban on all adoptions of Russian children by U.S. citizens.
Rights watchdog Amnesty International has called Russia’s first posthumous trial a “dangerous precedent.”
Magnitsky worked for the London-based investment fund Hermitage Capital.
Hermitage owner William Browder is being tried in absentia alongside his
Last week, fresh fraud charges were filed against Browder over dealings a decade ago in shares in the state-controlled gas giant Gazprom.
Browder has said the charges are an “absurdity” meant as revenge for his
campaigning for the U.S. rights legislation named after Magnitsky.