Magnitsky Relative Summoned for Questioning by Police

Police summoned for questioning a family member of former Hermitage Capital lawyer Sergei Magnitsky, who died in a Moscow prison over three years ago, the company's press service said Wednesday.

"The family member summoned as a witness was asked to 'arrive for questioning' at the Interior Ministry's investigative department on Gazetny Pereulok, where Sergei Magnitsky was taken for questioning over four years ago, on Nov. 24, 2008," Interfax cited Hermitage Capital's press office as saying.

The company did not disclose the name of the relative or what criminal case he was due to be questioned over.

The Interior Ministry did not officially comment on the matter.

Sergei Magnitsky, a former lawyer of the Hermitage Capital fund and partner of the British law firm Firestone Duncan Ltd., was arrested on suspicion of fraud and tax evasion on Nov. 24, 2008.

A month before his arrest, Magnitsky had presented evidence against two police officials, implicating them in a tax fraud scheme in which Magnitsky said $230 million was stolen from the Russian budget.

He died on Nov. 16, 2009 in a Moscow prison, where, according to a Kremlin human rights council investigation, he was badly beaten by guards shortly before he died.

His death has not only damaged Russia's image abroad and strained ties with the United States, but also prompted the Magnitsky Act, controversial U.S. legislation passed last December that imposes sanctions on Russian officials accused of human rights abuses.

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