Investigation into Sergei Magnitsky case to be resumed

MOSCOW, August 3 (Itar-Tass World Service) – The case of Sergei Magnitsky, who worked for the Hermitage Capital Company, renews. Following the statement of the Constitution Court, which banned stopping criminal cases due to death of suspects without consent from their families, Russia’s Prosecutor General’s Office has renewed it. The lawyer’s colleagues hope Magnitsky will be exonerated.

The decision of the Constitution Court, which abolished norms of the criminal procedure code, where investigation and courts were able to stop criminal cases due to deaths of suspects and defendants without consent from their families, caused renewal of the criminal case of Sergei Magnitsky, auditor of the Hermitage Capital Company. He was accused of tax evasion and died in the trial prison, and his case was closed for non-exonerating reasons. Now, the Prosecutor General’s Office orders the investigation to look into the case of the diseased, and if results of the investigation are not accepted by Magnitsky’s representatives, they will have to prove the opposite in the court.

The Kommersant learned from a source at the Prosecutor General’s Office on Tuesday, that the authority acknowledged the necessity to resume the investigation of Sergei Magnitsky’s case due to newly revealed circumstances – the decision of the Constitution Court.

The investigation itself will be conducted by the investigative department of the Interior Ministry’s Chief Department in the Central Federal District. The investigative department told the newspaper that the new investigation should not take much time since Magnitsky had passed away at the final stage of the case’s investigation: he was studying the materials.

The Magnitsky family’s lawyer Dmitry Kharitonov said: “This initiative was not ours. In any case, it is positive news. We hope that the investigation will result in Sergei’s full exoneration. We shall not be satisfied with any other result.” Should the case be stopped again for non-exonerating reasons, the lawyer will file an appeal to the court. At the same time, the lawyer does not cherish many illusions. “I would like to think positively about investigative authorities, but I fear they will act like they always do. Anyway, it is complicated to imagine that now, all of a sudden, they will realize that they had kept a sick and not guilty person behind the bars for one year,” he said.

In his turn, Chairman of Moscow’s social supervisory board for human rights at institutions of confinement Valery Borshchev hopes the probation into the tax evasion case will make it clear for investigators who and why was interested in criminal prosecution of Magnitsky.

The Komsomolskaya Pravda writes that Sergei Magnitsky was arrested on charges of tax evasion and died under mysterious circumstances in jail. This happened after the lawyer had testified against the security forces, who, according to his version, had stolen 5.5 billion rubles of the budget funds.

Hermitage Capital’s representatives say that the investigative department of the Interior Ministry’s Chief Department in the Central Federal District refused to conduct inspection of its colleagues investigation. Though the presidential human rights council insists they are involved in Magnitsky’s death.

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