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Investigator in Magnitsky Case Asks for New Hermitage Arrest

An investigator implicated in the death of Hermitage Capital lawyer Sergei Magnitsky has requested the arrest of another Hermitage employee, the investment fund said Tuesday.

Oleg Silchenko of the Interior Ministry’s Investigative Committee has asked Moscow’s Tverskoi District Court to authorize the arrest of London-based Ivan Cherkasov, 42, in connection with the same tax evasion case that led to Magnitsky’s arrest in 2008, Hermitage said in an e-mailed statement.

The investigator claims that a company called Kameya, which was owned by an unidentified Hermitage client and managed by Cherkasov, underpaid an unspecified amount in taxes in 2006, the statement said.

It was unclear why officials had not requested Cherkasov’s arrest earlier.

The court was to review the request Wednesday. The ministry did not comment on the issue Tuesday, while Cherkasov said in the statement that the case was fabricated.

Magnitsky was arrested after he accused Silchenko and other officials, including several in the Interior Ministry, of organizing a $230 million tax fraud. Magnitsky died of health problems after 11 months in detention. His supporters say the case was fabricated and he was intentionally denied medical help.

No officials have been charged over Magnitsky’s death, and Silchenko was even promoted and handed a state award by the Interior Ministry in November.

Hermitage has released several videos accusing officials linked to the case of living a lifestyle of luxury that they should not have been able to afford on their official salaries. The latest expose, released in mid-April, said the family of a Moscow district tax official implicated by Magnitsky owns assets worth $39 million.

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