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 16 November 2009

Sergei Magnitsky,

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   died abruptly in detention.

An apparent toxic shock and heart failure, said a spokeswoman of the Interior Ministry.

 He asked for a doctor to be allowed to examine him. The court rejected the request.

Source :





Sergei Magnitsky, a 37-year-old lawyer,  a father of two,  died abruptly in Moscow’s Matrosskaya Tishina detention center at 9:50 p.m. on 16 th November of apparent toxic shock and heart failure, said a spokeswoman for the investigative committee of the Interior Ministry.


 But Magnitsky’s lawyer said his client had been visibly ill .   Magnitsky was diagnosed with pancreatic problems in August. He told the Tverskoi District Court in September that he suffered chest pains and Magnitsky’s lawyer Dmitry Kharitonov said  that Butyrskaya officials had barred him from entering the jail   to visit his client, citing Magnitsky’s poor health. He asked for a doctor to be allowed to examine him. The court rejected the request.

Magnitsky wrote a 40-page complaint to Prosecutor General Yury Chaika describing a serious medical condition that developed while he was in detention and pleaded for access to medical attention, Hermitage Capital said. There was no response to his complaint, it said.  Magnitsky also complained at the September hearing about “inhumane conditions” in the Butyrskaya jail, including the absence of a toilet, hot water and windows.


Magnitsky’s mother was the first to find out about the death of her son . She came to Butyrskaya to give him some personal items and was told that her son had been transferred to a different detention facility, Hermitage Capital said in a statement.  She said Magnitsky had not raised any health concerns at his most recent court hearing, when Moscow’s Tverskoi District Court ruled   to prolong his detention until Nov. 26.


Magnitsky was arrested on Nov. 24  2008, after a search of his apartment and moved between several detention centers before being sent to the Butyrskaya jail in late July. Interior Ministry investigators had accused Magnitsky, a partner with the Firestone Duncan law firm, of being directly involved in developing and executing a scheme in which Hermitage head William Browder purportedly evaded more than 100 million rubles ($3.25 million) in taxes in 2002.


The tax case was opened after Browder accused senior Interior Ministry officials of stealing more than $230 million in budget money. Magnitsky testified in June 2008 and October 2008 against two police officials, including Colonel Lieutenant Artyom Kuznetsov, who later joined the investigation into Magnitsky.

If he had been found guilty, Magnitsky would have faced up to six years in prison.

Browder has been barred from Russia because of national security concerns since 2005. He has linked the ban to his high-profile battles against Gazprom over inflated corporate spending and Kremlin-linked oil major Surgutneftegaz over its murky ownership schemes.




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