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Interior Ministry Denies New Case Against Magnitsky

"Why europe needs Magnitsky Law" - EP book launch-cover. ALDE Communication

The Interior Ministry has denied a report by Hermitage Capital that a new criminal case has been opened against late lawyer Sergei Magnitsky for the alleged embezzlement of 5.4 billion rubles ($163.5 million).

The report by the British fund — where Magnitsky worked before his death — said it was not clear when the case was filed, though relatives have been forbidden from acquainting themselves with the court materials, Interfax reported.

The Hermitage Capital report also stated that Magnitsky's mother had tried to file a complaint against the case in a Moscow court, saying that the accusations against her son are slander and an act of revenge meant to discredit his name. Her efforts have reportedly gone unanswered by the court.

However, an Interior Ministry representative told journalists Monday that "in the Russian Federation, it is not practice to bring court cases against dead people."

Magnitsky was already convicted in a posthumous trial and in July was found guilty of embezzling more than $15 million along with Hermitage Capital CEO William Browder.

The charges of embezzlement were first leveled at Magnitsky in 2008, when he was charged with tax evasion after accusing Russian officials of corruption. He died in custody in 2009 while awaiting trial, but the investigation against him resumed in 2011.

In 2013 the United States placed officials believed to have been involved in Magnitsky's death on a blacklist, the "Magnitsky List," preventing them from entering the country and freezing their U.S. assets.

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