Sergei Magnitsky’s Mother Accuses Russian General Prosecutor of Murder

September 26, 2011

Natalia Magnitskaya, the mother of Sergei Magnitsky, has filed a criminal complaint against Russian General Prosecutor Yuri Chaika, senior officials of the Russian Interior Ministry, Federal Security Service, Penitentiary Service and 11 judges for the conspiracy to murder her son (

“These individuals and others organized the repressive persecution of my son based on trumped-up charges and using falsified documents in violation of Articles 6 and 7 of the Criminal Procedural Code of the Russian Federation and tortured him and urged him to incriminate himself and his client, and retract his earlier sworn testimonies made before his arrest against the Interior Ministry officials,”
said Natalia Magnitskaya in her petition.

In the petition filed last week with the Russian Investigative Committee, Mrs Natalia Magnitskaya and her lawyer Nikolai Gorokhov, have disclosed new evidence of the violent death of her son in custody.

The murder complaint exposes newly discovered evidence from Russian government case files. The new documents show that three days after Sergei Magnitsky died in police custody, the lead investigator from the Investigative Committee’s branch for Preobrazhensky district of Moscow concluded that there was strong evidence that Sergei Magnitsky was murdered ( The officer recommended opening a murder investigation. However, no investigation was opened, and his conclusions were covered up until today.

The murder complaint filed by Mrs Magnitskaya also highlights the circumstances of Sergei Magnitsky’s murder:

“For a period of one and a half to two hours, Magnitsky – who was in acute and excruciating pain – instead of being given medical attention, was put in an isolation cell by eight riot troopers, directed by the assistant chief of the detention center together with his deputy. The emergency room physicians were given access to him only after one and a half hours, and only to confirm his death.”

The complaint then refers to specific details of the physical injuries that Sergei Magnitsky suffered (including injuries to his knuckles on both hands and deep lacerations on the little finger of his left hand, injuries on his wrists from handcuffs and a large hole in his tongue). None of these injuries have been addressed in any of the official post-mortem examinations done by the Russian Investigative Committee.

The complaint also cites a number of text messages which contained explicit death threats which were sent to Sergei Magnitsky’s colleagues at roughly the same time as his death.

Since Magnitsky’s death, the Russian Investigative Committee has failed to address any of the available evidence of his false arrest, torture and murder, including detention center guards using handcuffs and rubber batons on Magnitsky in the last two hours of his life.

“The investigation, which has continued for more than 21 months, has still not given a proper assessment of the evidence of direct violence against Magnitsky, and the investigating officials continue to refuse to establish the reasons for his physical injuries…Investigators rely on as “established facts” the testimonies of detention center officials who are interested in concealing their role in Magnitsky’s death,” says the petition.

Finally, the murder complaint describes the motives of Russian officials to torture and ultimately silence Sergei Magnitsky. One month before Magnitsky’s death, in sworn statements to the Interior Ministry, he confirmed the names of five Interior Ministry officers and their role in the theft of $230 million of public funds. Three days before his death, in further court filings, Magnitsky provided additional evidence of how Interior Ministry officers fabricated and falsified documents in his case file in order to retaliate against him for providing his previous testimony.

General Prosecutor Chaika and former Deputy Interior Ministry Anichin are named as co-conspirators in the criminal complaint.

“Due to either gross negligence or the pursuit of their personal interests, General Prosecutor Chaika Y. Y. and the Head of the Interior Ministry’s Investigative Committee Anichin A.V. refused or left without adequate consideration my son’s and his attorneys’ complaints, petitions and appeals, despite the fact that they were addressed to them and detailed gross violations of his rights,” says the complaint.

“With the complicity of senior government officials, including Deputy Chief of the Investigative Committee of the Ministry of Internal Affairs Logunov O.V. and Deputy Head of the Federal Penitentiary Service of the Russian Federation Semenyuk V.I. and Petrukhin E.V., my son was repeatedly transferred between the detention facilities with the purpose of exerting further physical and psychological pressure on him,” further says the petition.

The murder complaint also demands to investigate the role of 11 judges in authorizing an illegal arrest and detention of a knowingly innocent individual and the denial of justice and an objective review of his complaints, leading to his death.

Sergei Magnitsky, acting as outside counsel for the Hermitage Fund, once the largest portfolio investor in Russia, uncovered a corrupt scheme through which Russian government officials and criminals stole over $230 million that had been paid to the Russian government by the Hermitage Fund’s companies in taxes. One month after Magnitsky testified about the involvement of government officials in the corrupt scheme, he was arrested by those same officials, kept in detention in torturous conditions for 358 days without trial and died on 16 November 2009.

From detention, Sergei Magnitsky wrote over 450 petitions and complaints about the violation of his rights and denial of access to justice. His complaints were rejected by Russian Interior Ministry officials, prosecutors and courts. Despite the evidence of criminal conduct of officials presented in July by the Russian President’s Human Rights Council, and nearly two years after Magnitsky’s death in custody, not a single Russian official has been prosecuted and tried for his false arrest, torture and murder.

Officials Named In the Murder Complaint

The following officials have been named in the complaint:
– Interior Ministry of the Russian Federation: Anichin A.V., Logunov O.V., Matveev A.N., Vinogradova N.V., Karlov G.V., Silchenko O.F., Kuznetsov A.K., Droganov A.O., Krechetov А.А., Tolchinsky D.M., Oleinik S.V., Sapunova M.О., Dmitrieva N.I. and other members of the investigative team and officials of the Russian Interior Ministry;
– General Prosecutor’s Office of the Russian Federation: Chaika Y.Y., Pechegin A.I., Burov А.V., Altukhova M.E., Sivozhelez V.А.;
– Federal Security Service of the Russian Federation: Loguntsov А.Е.; and
– Federal Penitentiary Services of the Russian Federation: Petrukhin E.V., Semenuk V.I., Prokopenko I.P.., Komnov D.V., Kratov D.B., Tagiev F.G.”

The following judges have been named:
– Judges of Tverskoi District Court of Moscow: Stashina E.V.; Podoprigorov S.G.; Ukhnaleva S.V., Krivoruchko A.V., and Neverova T.V.,
– Judges of the Moscow City Court: Vodopyanova L.M., Markov S.M., Andreeva S.V., Nikolenko L.I., Sharapova N.V., Rolgeyzer O.V.



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