The mother of Hermitage Capital lawyer Sergei Magnitsky, who died at a Moscow jail in 2009, has asked the Russian Prosecutor General, Yury Chaika, to provide evidence for the claims he made in a letter to the Kommersant daily regarding her son and the activity of the fund's head, William Browder.
"The information you disseminated causes pain to a mother who lost her son, it is not based on any factual circumstances, nor established by a court, and is disproved by documents, including the criminal case files pertaining to Magnitsky's death," Nataliya Magnitskaya said in her letter to Chaika, a copy of which was released on Tuesday by the Justice for Sergei Magnitsky Program, an organization.
Magnitskaya asks whether "the information disseminated by Y. Chaika was his personal inference or his conclusion as the prosecutor general who has personal charge of the Magnitsky case;" she also asks "to provide documents based on which conclusions were made harming the name of S. Magnitsky."
In early December the Kommersant daily published Chaika's letter concerning a film-inquiry into his family members, which was made by the Anti-Corruption Foundation (FBK). According to the FBK inquiry, Chaika's close relatives and some of his subordinates are engaged in unlawful activity.
In his letter to the newspaper, Chaika called the film false and said it had been ordered by the co-founder of the investment fund Hermitage Capital, W. Browder, and the U.S. intelligence agencies which were behind him.
According to Chaika, Magnitsky's death in 2009 was for Browder "a lifesaving ring, and the U.S. intelligence agencies took advantage of the tragedy to launch yet another special operation of discrediting Russia in the eyes of global community."
Magnitsky, who was arrested on tax evasion charges, died at a Moscow jail on November 16, 2009. His colleagues W. Browder and the head of the British firm Firestone Duncan, Jamison Firestone, said that Magnitsky had been arrested after he exposed the corruption schemes involving a number of senior police officials and staff.
On July 11, 2013, Moscow's Tverskoi District Court sentenced Browder in absentia to nine years of imprisonment for not paying over 522 million ruble in tax by way of falsifying tax declarations and abuse of disability benefits. The court also found the late Magnitsky guilty on the same charges.
Two weeks later Russia put Browder on its international wanted list.
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