MOSCOW, June 30 (RAPSI) - The Moscow City Court has dismissed a libel claim which was filed by the mother of the deceased Russian lawyer Sergei Magnitsky against a police officer Oleg Urzhumtsev, RIA Novosti reported Monday.
According to the complaint, in December 2010 Urzhumtsev issued a resolution which “defamed Sergei Magnitsky by accusing him post-mortem of embezzling 5.4 billion rubles from the state budget.” Also, his mother and wife were not informed about the resolution. Natalya Magnitskaya has appealed to quash the resolution as unlawful.
Sergei Magnitsky was an auditor at the Moscow law firm Firestone Duncan and represented the investment advisory firm Hermitage Capital Management, which was accused of tax evasion and tax fraud by the Russian Interior Ministry. He was arrested on fraud charges in November 2008 and was found dead in his Moscow cell in November 2009. According to the Prosecutor General's Office, his death was caused by heart failure.
The case was closed after his death, only to be reopened later. Under Russian law, persons can be prosecuted after their death under already existing cases. On July 11, the Tverskoy District Court in Moscow convicted the late British Hermitage Capital Fund auditor of tax evasion.
Following a public campaign for justice in Magnitsky’s case, President Obama signed The Magnitsky Act in December 2012. The act bans Russian officials thought to be connected with the lawyer’s death from entering the US, as well as freezing their US-based assets.ypass these requirements.