Preliminary hearings of Browder and Magnitsky tax case due at Tverskoy court

Moscow's Tverskoy district court on Monday will have preliminary hearings of the tax-evasion case of the head of Hermitage Capital investment fund William Browder and the late lawyer of the fund Sergei Magnitsky.

The sides will file their motions after which the date of hearing of the merits of the case will be set. The interests of the sides will be represented by appointed attorneys Nikolai Gerasimov and Kirill Goncharov. They were given time until March 4 to examine the findings of the case.

The lawyer of Magnitsky mother, Natalia Magnitskaya, before the beginning of the Feb. 18 session read out for the press her message to the judge of Tverskoy court saying that she finds the trial illegal and the relaunching of criminal persecution after her son's death without a corresponding application from the family cynical.

"I am not authorizing anyone to represent the interests of my son in Tverskoy court. The person who assumed this duty will be acting contrary to his interests,х" the statement says.

At the end of December 2012 Tverskoy Court acquitted Dmitry Kratov, former deputy head of the detention facility Butyrka, who was charged with negligence that led to the death of Sergei Magnitsky. The family of the lawyer protested the acquittal.

On November 29, 2012 it was reported that the Prosecutor General's Office approved the indictment in the case of Browder and Magnitsky and sent its findings to Tverskoy Court.

The prosecutor's office announced that they were charged with tax evasion in the amount exceeding 522 million rubles through falsifying tax-declarations and illegally using privileges assigned to people with disabilities.

It said that Browder would be tried in absentia "because he refrains from appearing at the investigative body while the United Kingdom refused to cooperate with Russia on this issue."

Magnitsky who died three years ago in a detention facility is charged with corporate tax-evasion.

On April 3, 2012, Moscow's Ostankinsky Court declared legal the resumption of the tax case against Magnitsky. The court found that the Prosecutor General's office in making the disputed decision was guided by numerous complaints and interviews of Magntisky's mother who insisted on the posthumous rehabilitation of her son. The Moscow city court upheld the decision and turned down the protest of Magnitsky's family.

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