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Europe

Russia drops Sergei Magnitsky death case

© AFP

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2013-03-19

Russian investigators said Tuesday that they were dropping their investigation into the 2009 death of whistleblowing lawyer Sergei Magnitsky. His family and former employer say he was beaten to death in jail after uncovering a fraud scheme.

Russian investigators on Tuesday dropped their investigation into the 2009 death in jail of a whistleblowing attorney whose case led to a crisis in relations between Russia and the United States.

The investigators said in a statement they had no evidence that Sergei Magnitsky died from custodians' beatings at the age of 37 as his family and former US-born employer Bill Browder claim.

"Based on the preliminary investigation's results, a decision was taken to end the criminal case due to a lack of evidence of a crime," the Investigative Committee said.

Magnitsky is currently facing a posthumous trial -- Russia's first -- along with Browder into alleged tax evasion.

The Russian lawyer was jailed shortly after disclosing an alleged $230-million fraud scheme being run by senior tax and law enforcement authorities.

An attorney for Magnitsky's mother said he intended to appeal the decision in court.

(AFP)

Date created : 2013-03-19

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