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Investigator Targets Hermitage Capital in London

An investigator implicated in the death of Hermitage Capital lawyer Sergei Magnitsky is trying to obtain a warrant to search a Hermitage executive's home in London, Magnitsky's supporters said Tuesday.

Oleg Silchenko, one of 60 officials proposed for blacklisting by the United States in connection with Magnitsky's death, has won approval for the search request in a Moscow court and is waiting for approval from Britain's Home Office, said a statement published on the "Law and Order in Russia" blog, which is maintained by Magnitsky's supporters.

The statement did not identify the Hermitage executive targeted by Silchenko, but added that Silchenko also sought help from Interpol to gather information on Hermitage lawyers.

In addition, Silchenko has asked a court for permission to seize Hermitage documents in Moscow, the statement said.

Silchenko could not be immediately reached for comment, and the Interior Ministry offered no comment Tuesday.

Magnitsky died in pretrial detention in Moscow in November. His supporters said the tax charges against him were fabricated by Interior Ministry officials whom he had accused of tax fraud.

Hermitage was once the largest foreign investment fund in Russia and was run by William Browder, a crusading minority shareholder who was barred from Russia for unspecified national security reasons in 2005.

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