Five Days Before his Death, Sergey Magnitskiy Filed Legal Documents Indicating Evidence in His Case Was Falsified

November 23, 2009

For Immediate Release


Five Days Before his Death, Sergey Magnitskiy Filed Legal Documents Indicating Evidence in His Case Was Falsified

23 November 2009 – The last petition filed by Sergey Magnitskiy, a Russian lawyer who died in pre-trial detention, described the malicious tampering by police investigators of materials in his case file and the falsification of evidence. He intended to take criminal action against those responsible for fabricating evidence in his case. Sergey Magnitskiy filed his petition on 11 November 2009, five days before his death, with Investigator Oleg Silchenko of the Russian Interior Ministry’s Investigative Committee.

Sergey Magnitskiy stated that the evidence in his case file was falsified: “It is now clear to me that originals of certain documents in the materials of the criminal case shown to me as copies cannot be at the disposal of the investigation, therefore the certified copies of these documents, in my opinion, could be treated as falsified evidence, because they have been certified without comparing the copies admitted into the criminal case with the original of the corresponding document or other properly verified copy of the document, and I intend to insist on bringing to justice the persons who certified these copies or placed them in the case materials.”

In his 11 November petition, Sergey Magnitskiy also said that documents in his case file had been unlawfully altered: “Materials of [the] criminal case which are now being shown for me to review, are not the same materials that were produced to me on 20 October 2009 because they noticeably differ in the manner of certifying the authenticity of included copies and in the manner of binding, and because in both cases materials were collated in a manner that did not exclude the possibility to undo the binding, and add, delete or replace documents, and I do not exclude the possibility that these materials are also different in their contents.”

Sergey Magnitskiy detailed the visible tampering with the case file: “The collated folder shown to me on 20 October 2009 could not have been collated into the present binder without first undoing it. The Folder No. 2 shown to me on 9 November 2009 was not collated with string [as it was earlier], but with a thread instead. The last page with statements signed by you [Investigator Silchenko] about the authenticity of copies and the number of pages was absent. Every page of Folder No. 2 shown to me on 9 November 2009 contained items that had been absent in same Folder No. 2 shown to me [on 20 October 2009], including: a) seal No. 7 of the Investigative Committee of the Interior Ministry; b) a stamp of the Russian Interior Ministry’s Investigative Committee saying “the copy is true”; c) someone’s name, visibly not your signature and no indication of the full name and title of the person who signed it.”

On 16 October 2009, Sergey Magnitskiy was informed by Investigator Silchenko that pre-trial investigative actions into his case were completed and that he could begin reviewing all case materials. Sergey began reviewing the criminal case materials on 20 October 2009, and three weeks later filed the petition, which turned out to be his last. Lawyers for Sergey Magnitskiy filed a similar complaint about tampering with his case file, in contravention to Articles 45 and 46 of the Russian Constitution, on 13 November 2009 with the Tverskoi district court of Moscow.

Sergey Magnitskiy, a 37-year lawyer and father of two children, died on 16 November 2009 in a Moscow prison where he was kept without trial for a year.

Full text of Last Magnitsky’s Petition and Last Lawyer’s Compliant are available in the attachements to this message and on the WEB: and

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