PACE Receives Magnitsky Resolution Proposal

PACE Receives Magnitsky Resolution Proposal
# 26 April 2012 17:59 (UTC +04:00)
Baku-APA. The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) has received a motion to consider a resolution on lawyer Sergei Magnitsky’s death in custody, the head of Russia’s delegation said, APA reports quoting RIA Novosti.

“Such a motion exists, I saw it,” Alexei Pushkov said, adding that his view of the proposal was “negative.”

A source in the Assembly earlier said that the initiative was put forward by Dutch parliamentarian Pieter Omtzigt, with the support of 69 parliamentarians from Moldova, Ukraine, the United Kingdom, Switzerland and other countries.

In the draft resolution, PACE offers Russia cooperation in preparing a report on the circumstances surrounding the lawyer’s death. The author believes that such document would benefit the Russian side.

Magnitsky was working for the London-based Hermitage Capital investment fund when he was arrested in 2008 as part of an embezzlement and tax evasion investigation. The auditor died after almost a year in custody. His death triggered an international outcry.

Days before his arrest, Magnitsky claimed to have uncovered massive fraud in which Moscow tax and police officials had allegedly embezzled $230 million by taking over Hermitage subsidiaries and using them to claim tax rebates.

Magnitsky’s supporters believe his prosecution was a means for the security officials accused by Magnitsky to muzzle him and stop his activities.

Hermitage Capital said in a statement earlier on Thursday that a criminal investigation into the lawyer’s death has been prolonged once again.

On April 9, prosecutors closed a criminal case against Larisa Litvinova, a doctor at the pre-trial detention facility where Magnitsky died, citing the expired statute of limitations.

Another prison doctor, Dmitry Kratov, is the only official still facing negligence charges over Magnitsky’s death. He may be jailed for five years if found guilty.