Russian Interior Ministry Spits on Magnitsky’s Grave

November 24, 2011

Today the Russian Interior Ministry announced it will continue the posthumous prosecution of Sergei Magnitsky two years after his death. Calls from Magnitsky’s relatives to cease the unlawful prosecution have been rejected. In spite of this, the Russian Interior Ministry justified the extension of the posthumous prosecution by the “need to identify the position of the relatives.”

“Today’s news from the Russian Interior Ministry is hard to view as anything other than spitting on the grave of a dead man and his relatives. Magnitsky’s family has repeatedly stated their position about the illegality of the posthumous prosecution by filing formal written complaints to all Russian state bodies,” said family lawyer Nikolai Gorokhov.

Mr Gorokhov explained that complaints from Magnitsky relatives against his posthumous prosecution have been filed to General Prosecutor Chaika, Chief of the Interior Ministry’s Investigative Department Kozhokar, Chair of Tverskoi District Court of Moscow Alisov and the Moscow City Court.

All complaints were refused, including by P. Lapshov of the Interior Ministry on 7 October 2011, V. Ignashin of the General Prosecutor Office on 8 November 2011, and the Moscow City Court judges Martynova, Lovcheva and Khotuntseva on 24 October 2011.

“It is insincere of the Interior Ministry to claim that they are unaware of the position of Magnitsky’s relatives when their senior officials have refused their complaints. This is none other than a further attempt to put psychological pressure on his family,” said a Hermitage Capital representative.

The posthumous case against Magnitsky has been assigned to the same Russian investigators who have been named by the Russian President’s Human Rights Council as responsible for his unlawful arrest and torture to death in custody and who have been named in the murder complaint filed by Magnitsky’s family. In spite of the protests from the victim’s family, the Russian General Prosecutor Office and the Interior Ministry refused to recuse these investigators from the case.

“Let these acts by the Russian authorities serve as a reminder to the European politicians that the crimes against Sergei Magnitsky continue after his death. Only firm visa and economic sanctions can bring a measure of justice to this case where Russian officials enjoy such protection from their own judicial system,” said a Hermitage Capital representative.


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