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14.02.2012

Polish Foreign Ministry to seek measures over Magnitsky Death

   

The Polish Foreign Ministry has for the first time informed the Polish Helsinki Foundation that Poland will take action within the EU aimed at establishing a decisive stand regarding the Sergei Magnitsky case. This will involve calling on Russia to carry out a transparent investigation into Magnitsky’s death based on international legal standards.

The Ministry also informs that should it not received a satisfactory answer from the Russian authorities and adequate action, Poland will seek to have the EU draw up a list of people complicit in the death of the lawyer and to reach a consensus regarding the introduction of visa and financial sanctions against them.

The Helsinki Foundation has approached the Foreign Ministry three times regarding Sergei Magnitsky. This is the first time the Ministry has responded.

Sergei Magnitsky, a 37-year-old lawyer representing the UK-based investment firm Hermitage Capital Management, was arrested in 2008 on fraud and tax evasion. He had recently implicated high-ranking officials from Russia's Interior Ministry, Federal Security Service, and other offices in a scheme to defraud the government of $230 million.
Magnitsky endured torturous conditions during nearly a year in pretrial detention, during which he was repeatedly denied requests for medical care.
Please see the reportby Hermitage Capital which provides evidence that Sergei Magnitsky was beaten to death by prison guards in 2009 and did not die from health problems as previously claimed by the authorities.  The report found that Mr Magnitsky was left to die on a cell floor after suffering a brain trauma in the beating apparently ordered by prison officials.

Information about the Polish Ministry from the Polish Helsinki Foundation

There has also been information recently about a new, outrageous development in the case. 

Russia Plans to Retry Dead Lawyer in Tax Case

MOSCOW — The police in Russia  plan to resubmit for trial a tax evasion case in which the primary defendant died in detention more than two years ago, his former employer said Tuesday.

The trial of the defendant, Sergei L. Magnitsky, would be the first posthumous prosecution in Russian legal history, according to a statement by the former employer, Hermitage Capital.

The death of Mr. Magnitsky, a lawyer, in November 2009 drew international criticism over Russia’s human rights record, especially after accusations arose that he had been denied proper medical care. The State Department has barred officials linked to Mr. Magnitsky’s prosecutions from entering the United States. Parliaments in nine European countries are considering similar bans.

Police officials reopened the case against Mr. Magnitsky last summer, saying it would provide a chance for relatives and supporters to clear his name.

The rest of the article by Andrew E. Kramer can be found at: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/08/world/europe/russia-to-retry-sergei-magnitsky-posthumously.html

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