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Sergei Magnitsky’s Final Petition

Hermitage is sending around another press today with regard to the recent death in Russian custody of their lawyer Sergei Magnitsky.  Apparently five days before his death due to untreated illness, the lawyer had filed a complaint denouncing the falsification of evidence in his case.  Below is the text of the release with some links to the original documents.  The growing paper trail accumulated by Magnitsky before his death is making it near impossible for the Russian government to make certain claims.

Five Days Before his Death, Sergey Magnitskiy Filed Legal Documents Indicating Evidence in His Case Was Falsified

23 November 2009 – The last petition filed by Sergey Magnitskiy, a Russian lawyer who died in pre-trial detention, described the malicious tampering by police investigators of materials in his case file and the falsification of evidence. He intended to take criminal action against those responsible for fabricating evidence in his case. Sergey Magnitskiy filed his petition on 11 November 2009, five days before his death, with Investigator Oleg Silchenko of the Russian Interior Ministry’s Investigative Committee.


Sergey Magnitskiy stated that the evidence in his case file wasfalsified: “It is now clear to me that originals of certain documentsin the materials of the criminal case shown to me as copies cannot beat the disposal of the investigation, therefore the certified copies ofthese documents, in my opinion, could be treated as falsified evidence,because they have been certified without comparing the copies admittedinto the criminal case with the original of the corresponding documentor other properly verified copy of the document, and I intend to insiston bringing to justice the persons who certified these copies or placedthem in the case materials.”

In his 11 November petition, Sergey Magnitskiy also said that documentsin his case file had been unlawfully altered: “Materials of [the]criminal case which are now being shown for me to review, are not thesame materials that were produced to me on 20 October 2009 because theynoticeably differ in the manner of certifying the authenticity ofincluded copies and in the manner of binding, and because in both casesmaterials were collated in a manner that did not exclude thepossibility to undo the binding, and add, delete or replace documents,and I do not exclude the possibility that these materials are alsodifferent in their contents.

Sergey Magnitskiy detailed the visible tampering with the case file:”The collated folder shown to me on 20 October 2009 could not have beencollated into the present binder without first undoing it. The FolderNo. 2 shown to me on 9 November 2009 was not collated with string [asit was earlier], but with a thread instead. The last page withstatements signed by you [Investigator Silchenko] about theauthenticity of copies and the number of pages was absent.  Every pageof Folder No. 2 shown to me on 9 November 2009 contained items that hadbeen absent in same Folder No. 2 shown to me [on 20 October 2009],including: a) seal No. 7 of the Investigative Committee of the InteriorMinistry; b) a stamp of the Russian Interior Ministry’s InvestigativeCommittee saying “the copy is true”; c) someone’s name, visibly notyour signature and no indication of the full name and title of theperson who signed it.

On 16 October 2009, Sergey Magnitskiy was informed by InvestigatorSilchenko that pre-trial investigative actions into his case werecompleted and that he could begin reviewing all case materials. Sergeybegan reviewing the criminal case materials on 20 October 2009, andthree weeks later filed the petition, which turned out to be his last.Lawyers for Sergey Magnitskiy filed a similar complaint about tamperingwith his case file, in contravention to Articles 45 and 46 of theRussian Constitution, on 13 November 2009 with the Tverskoi districtcourt of Moscow.

Sergey Magnitskiy, a 37-year lawyer and father of two children, died on16 November 2009 in a Moscow prison where he was kept without trial fora year.

Full text of Last Magnitsky’s Petition and Last Lawyer’s Compliant areavailable in the attachements to this message and on the WEB.

Leave condolences here.