MOSCOW, November 20 (RAPSI, Diana Gutsul) - The mother of Hermitage Capital auditor Sergei Magnitsky, who died in a detention facility, appealed to the Russian Supreme Court to block the posthumous prosecution of her son, Hermitage Capital informed RAPSI on Thursday.
Hermitage Capital noted that in her appeal, Natalya Magnitskaya claims that the courts of lower instance refused to find the actions of an Interior Ministry investigator illegal.
“It is the court’s responsibility to verify the validity and legitimacy of the investigator’s statement. In this case the investigator’s claims were not verified by any evidence,” the appeal states.
For their part, the Press Service of the Supreme Court confirmed that the court had received an appeal from Natalya Magnitskaya regarding the May 22, 2014 ruling of the Tverskoi District Court and said it is currently under consideration.
Magnitsky worked for Firestone Duncan and represented Hermitage Capital which was accused of tax evasion by Russian authorities. Magnitsky was arrested on fraud charges in November 2008 and found dead in a Moscow detention center in November 2009.
Last July, the Tverskoi District Court of Moscow found Magnitsky guilty of tax evasion and closed the case due to his death. According to the case materials, Magnitsky’s and Hermitage Capital director William Browder’s actions cost the Russian Federation over 500 million rubles ($10.6 mln). Browder was sentenced to nine years in prison in absentia.
The lawyer’s death resulted in a huge public response. The defendants in the case included ex-chief of the Butyrsky Detention Facility, Dmitry Kratov, and the facility’s doctor, Larisa Litvinova. The criminal case against Litvinova was closed due to changes in the criminal code, under which the statute of limitations had expired. Kratov, who was charged with improper execution of his duties, was found not guilty by the Tverskoi Court since there was no relationship found between his actions and Magnitsky’s death. Magnitskaya’s representative appealed the ruling in the Moscow City Court and requested the case be reopened. The court ruled against the appeal.