Support The Moscow Times!

Russia Ignores Magnitsky Anniversary

Supporters of the late lawyer Sergei Magnitsky are marking the two-year anniversary of his death on Wednesday with events around the world — with the notable exception of Russia.

"In Russia, the only official thing that is going on is the continued cover-up by officials," a spokesman for Magnitsky's firm, Hermitage Capital, told The Moscow Times.

By contrast, the U.S. Helsinki Commission in Washington is hosting the performance of a play, “One Hour Eighteen,” depicting the last moments before Magnitsky died in custody in 2009 while awaiting trial on widely criticized fraud charges.

A similar performance is being held at Amnesty International's headquarters in London. On Tuesday, an exhibit honoring Magnitsky opened at the Checkpoint Charlie Museum in Berlin.

Magnitsky was arrested after accusing several state officials of embezzling 5.4 billion rubles ($175 million) and died in detention. His death is blamed on health problems and, allegedly, a beating by prison guards.

So far, only two prison medics have been charged over his death. The U.S. government has place an entry ban on Russian officials linked to Magnitsky's case, a move that prompted a tit-for-tat response from Moscow.

A district court in Moscow on Tuesday threw out a defamation lawsuit by prosecutor Andrei Pechegin against Magnitsky's former colleague Jamison Firestone, Infosud.ru reported.

Firestone accused the prosecutor of sabotaging the investigation into the embezzlement of the 5.4 billion rubles that Magnitsky tried to expose.

Read more

Independent journalism isn’t dead. You can help keep it alive.

The Moscow Times’ team of journalists has been first with the big stories on the coronavirus crisis in Russia since day one. Our exclusives and on-the-ground reporting are being read and shared by many high-profile journalists.

We wouldn’t be able to produce this crucial journalism without the support of our loyal readers. Please consider making a donation to The Moscow Times to help us continue covering this historic time in the world’s largest country.