Hermitage fund's report on Magnitsky's death distorted - Interior Ministry
MOSCOW, December 8 - RAPSI. The report published by the Hermitage Capital fund on lawyer Sergei Magnitsky's death is partially false and distorted, Interior Ministry Investigative Department spokeswoman Anzhela Kastuyeva told journalists on Thursday.
"Some statements in the report are either false or significantly distorted," Kastuyeva said.
Magnitsky, a lawyer for the Hermitage Capital fund, died of cardiovascular insufficiency in a Moscow pretrial detention center on November 16, 2009. His death sparked a public outcry and resulted in amendments to the criminal code and a reshuffling of officials in the penal system.
According to investigators, Magnitsky and his accomplices stole hundreds of millions of rubles from the state by manipulating tax returns between September and October 2007. In turn, Hermitage Capital has maintained that the investment fund had paid the 5.4 billion rubles ($172 million) in taxes, but the money was stolen by corporate raiders with the help of law enforcement officials. Magnitsky's prosecution has been attributed to this theft.
Later, two of the six individuals who were under investigation were sentenced to imprisonment. The others died, including Magnistky.
The Hermitage Capital fund published a 100-page report titled, "The Torture and Murder of Sergei Magnitsky and the Cover-Up by the Russian Government." The report was submitted to the Presidential Human Rights Council and it contains evidence that government agencies denied Magnitsky's appeals throughout his year-long detention and then hid his complaints and pretended not be responsible for his death.
The Hermitage Capital claims the report is based on official documents, court materials, and public statements. The report also contains full texts of Magnitsky's complaints about the lack of medical aid and the dismissals of his appeals.
The Hermitage Capital sent copies of the report to officials in the United States, Canada and the EU.
Investigators have charged Magnitsky's doctor Larisa Litvinova and penal system officer Dmitry Kratov in the lawyer's death.