MOSCOW, December 18 (RAPSI, Diana  Gutsul) - Moscow’s Meschansky District Court has set the first hearing in a defamation suit filed by former Russian Interior Ministry officer Pavel Karpov against Hermitage Capital Management and its CEO William Browder for February 11, 2015, Karpov told RAPSI on Thursday.

Karpov who was put on the sanctions list over Sergei Magnitsky's case claims that Browder and Jamieson Firestone, managing partner of the law firm Firestone Duncan, have been working hard for the past few years to ruin his honor, dignity and business reputation.

According to Karpov, they accused him publicly on many occasions of committing serious crimes, posted abusive videos on the Internet, and also made allegations in their interviews with mass media.

The campaign run by Hermitage Capital and Browder led to sanctions against him, the plaintiff said. Karpov seeks refutation of the disseminated information and 255 million rubles (over $3.7 million) in compensation.

Earlier, the Meschansky District Court dismissed the lawsuit. Karpov challenged the ruling in the Moscow City Court which remanded the case for a new trial.

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.

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, and freezes their US-based assets.

Karpov, who is No. 4 on the sanctions list, was implicated by Magnitsky in embezzling government funds.

Hermitage Capital maintains that it paid 5.4 billion rubles (about $80 million) in taxes, but the money was stolen by corporate raiders with the help of law enforcement officials.

Russia in July 2013 put Browder on the international wanted list after Moscow's Tverskoy District Court found him guilty of tax evasion and sentenced him in absentia to nine years in prison.