Russian Prosecutor Seeks Moscow Court to Declare Sergei Magnitsky Guilty and Not Be Rehabilitated in First Posthumous Trial in Russian History

July 3, 2013

Today, the Russ­ian pros­e­cu­tor has asked the Tver­skoi court in Moscow to declare that Sergei Mag­nit­sky was guilty and that he should be refused reha­bil­i­ta­tion. The request was made dur­ing the last ses­sion of the trial of Sergei Mag­nit­sky who has been deceased for three and a half years after being tor­tured and killed in police custody.

The pros­e­cu­tor asked the court not to apply any pun­ish­ment to Sergei Mag­nit­sky, and to cease the case with the ver­dict of guilty and no chance of future rehabilitation.

“Mag­nit­sky is fully incrim­i­nated, and there are no grounds for his reha­bil­i­ta­tion,” said pros­e­cu­tor accord­ing to Inter­fax news agency (http://www.interfax.ru/russia/txt.asp?id=316392).

“We are wit­ness­ing a Kafka show trial in real time,” said a Her­mitage Cap­i­tal representative.

The court will announce its deci­sion next week, on 11 July. The pre­sid­ing judge in the Tver­skoi Dis­trict Court in Moscow is Igor Alisov, the same judge who refused in 2011 to hear the appli­ca­tion from Sergei Magnitsky’s mother who chal­lenged the posthu­mous pro­ceed­ing against her son as immoral and being con­trary to the Russ­ian Con­sti­tu­tion. Magnitsky’s mother has since received a let­ter from the Con­sti­tu­tional Court which reit­er­ated that the posthu­mous pro­ceed­ings are only allowed at the rel­a­tives’ request and only for the pur­pose of reha­bil­i­ta­tion. In this case, the posthu­mous trial was ini­ti­ated by the prosecutor’s office against the will of Magnitsky’s family.

Judge Igor Alisov was also respon­si­ble in 2011 for exon­er­at­ing all offi­cials impli­cated by Sergei Mag­nit­sky in the theft of Her­mitage Fund’s com­pa­nies and their $230 mil­lion tax pay­ments. Instead, in a fast-track hear­ing in which he heard no evi­dence, he placed the blame for the $230 mil­lion theft on an unem­ployed ex con­vict, Mr Khleb­nikov, rely­ing exclu­sively on Mr Khlebnikov’s own testimony.

The posthu­mous trial against Sergei Mag­nit­sky has been con­demned by numer­ous inter­na­tional bod­ies, includ­ing Amnesty Inter­na­tional and Inter­na­tional Bar Association.

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