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Lawyer Hired by Sergei Magnitsky's Mother and William Browder Falls From Fifth Floor of Home

A tombstone on the grave of lawyer Sergei Magnitsky, Nov. 16, 2012. AP Photo / Misha Japaridze

Nikolai Grokhov, the Russian lawyer representing the interests of Hermitage Capital CEO William Browder and the mother of Sergei Magnitsky, has fallen from the fifth floor of his home outside Moscow, according to the newspaper Novaya Gazeta, citing sources at Hermitage Capital.

The accident occurred while Grokhov was trying to lift a bathtub into the attic, when a winch suddenly snapped, knocking him down five stories. He has reportedly been hospitalized in critical condition.

On Wednesday, March 22, the Moscow City Court planned to consider an appeal by the Interior Ministry regarding the repeated court absences of Mr. Browder and his colleague, Ivan Cherkasov. In 2013, Browder was convicted in absentia of tax evasion and sentenced to nine years in prison. By that time, Browder had left Russia.

Russian police have put out an arrest warrant for Browder, but Interpol has twice refused to honor the request, saying the case is politically motivated.

Sergei Magnitsky was arrested in Russia in 2008 on suspicion of failing to pay his taxes. A year later, he died under suspicious circumstances in pretrial detention. The deputy head of the detention center was acquitted of any wrongdoing in the death. Magnitsky was later convicted posthumously of tax evasion.

In December 2014, the European Court of Human Rights agreed to hear a lawsuit by Magnitsky’s family against the Russian government, asking Russian officials to provide copies of all the documents concerning his death.

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