Moscow court orders new trial against deceased whistleblower Magnitsky

Sergey Magnitsky is set to become the first man to be tried posthumously in Russia’s modern legal history after a decision from the Moscow City Court.

The court rejected an appeal from his mother, Natalya Magnitskaya, against the case, which she describes as “grotesque.”

Sergey Magnitsky was a lawyer for Hermitage Capital, an investment fund. He claimed to have uncovered tax fraud worth $230 million in 2008. He further alleged that tax officials and policemen had conspired to illegally transfer ownership of part of his company to themselves, and then to pay themselves a huge tax rebate out of the government budget.

But before any guilt could be proven, Magnitskiy was arrested and accused of embezzlement by the same officials he said were behind the fraud.

After being held without trial for eleven months, he died in custody in November 2009 after being refused medical treatment.

Magnitsky’s mother claims the new case is a personal vendetta, aimed at stopping her from publicizing the truth about the tax fraud.

British MPs are planning to hand a resolution to Parliament calling for a visa blacklist for all the officials involved in the Magnitsky case. The United States has already introduced a similar document.

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