Magnitsky’s defense attorney was appointed by the state as theauditor’s relatives refuse to take any part in the process. Hisfamily has repeatedly said that the trial of the deceased man is amockery of justice and blasted even the participation of astate-appointed defense attorney as it makes the processlegitimate.However, investigators insist that according to the law theyneed the consent of all close relatives in order to stop theprocess that could clear the late suspect’s name. At presentMagnitsky is neither convicted nor acquitted of the crime he wassuspected of, since the process was stopped due to his death.Magnitsky died in a Moscow prison in 2009 after spending about ayear in pre-trial custody while under investigation over amulti-million-dollar embezzlement scheme. Russian authoritiesestablished that the cause of death was severe pancreatitis andheart disease.Two doctors havebeen tried and sentenced for criminal negligence over thedeath.The former colleagues and bosses of the late auditor, includingWilliam Browder who is a suspect within the same tax evasion case,claim that Magnitsky in fact uncovered a tax evasion scheme he wassuspected of. They also claimed that a group of corrupt officialsallegedly organized the auditor’s imprisonment and eventual deathin order to cover up their crimes.Russian investigators, in turn, claim Magnitsky’s statementswere not reports about crimes, but a testimony within the criminalcase that had been already opened against him and his bosses.Hermitage Capital and William Browder have sponsored a major PRcampaign accusing Russian authorities of human rights violations.In late 2012, the United States introducedthe so-called Magnitsky Act – a law imposing sanctions on someRussian civil servants involved in the case.Russia blasted the move as an attempt to influence justice in asovereign country and replied by adopting the similar DimaYakovlev Law – a set of sanctions against foreign officialssuspected of violating Human Rights or the rights of Russiancitizens who were detained and tried abroad.Russian also continues the probe against William Browder, whohas been charged in absentia as he resides in the United Kingdomand refuses to appear before the Russian court. He also refused tochoose a defense attorney and is also represented by astate-appointed lawyer.
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