The criminal charges against Magnitsky were dropped after his November 2009 death in a pre-trial detention center, but then renewed by order of the Constitutional Court, which ruled that the case must be opened again since relatives of those involved had requested that it be. Magnitsky's family has said it did not make the request.
Magnitsky was arrested in 2008 on charges of tax evasion, after he began investigating police and tax service officials in an alleged fraud case. He spent 11 months in detention and reportedly acquired several serious illnesses, for which he was denied treatment. He died eight days before he was legally required to be released if not tried.
Human rights advocates and Western governments have sharply criticized Russia over the case, with some countries considering so-called "Magnitsky acts" barring entry to officials believed to have been involved in the lawyer's death.