Moscow Court Reveals Secret FSB File of Operational Activities Against Sergei Magnitsky While he Was in Prison

October 3, 2012

Nikolai Gorokhov, the lawyer for Sergei Magnitsky’s mother, announced in Moscow court that evidence has surfaced of a secret FSB file which indicated a series of operational activities conducted by the FSB (the Russian secret police) inside the prison while Sergei Magnitsky was held in pre-trial detention. The files have been kept confidential and the Magnitsky family lawyer beleieves these activities and the files documenting them could shed light on the circumstances of his murder in police custody and who was behind it.

Mr Gorokhov said that he had filed a request for disclosure of these file on behalf of the Magnitsky family with the Russian Federal Security Service, and requested the court’s assistance in obtaining it. All previous requests to the Federal Security Service from the Magnitsky family for access to information in relation to Sergei Magnitsky have been rejected on the ground that no rights have been violated, and the family had no right to request this information.
“From the materials of the case into the death of Sergei Magnitsky, his mother, Natalia Magnitskaya, and her representative, we became aware that there was an operational case opened in relation to Sergei Magnitsky under which operational and intelligence activities had been carried out…Please provide to the victim copies of the operational file concerning her son, Sergei Magnitsky; please preserve the file in full intact and prevent its destruction; in case of reluctance to provide the file to the victim, please provide them directly to the court,” says a petition filed by Mrs. Magnitskaya’s lawyer.

The petition is based on Article 24 of the Russian Constitution that guarantees the right for access to information about citizens’ rights gathered by state organizations, and Article 5 of the Russian Law on Operational and Intelligence Activity which entitles citizens to appeal operational and intelligence activities if they have grounds to believe that those activities breached their rights.

No answer is available yet on the outcome of this petition.

Sergei Magnitsky, an outside lawyer for the Hermitage Fund, was killed in Russian police custody at the age of 37 after he exposed the $230 million theft implicating government officials. He was honoured posthumously with 2010 Integrity Award by Transparency International, for his fight against official corruption.


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