Dmitry Medvedev met with Prosecutor General Yuri Chaika. At the meeting the President instructed the Prosecutor General's office to enhance monitoring of the investigation of criminal cases connected with Sergey Magnitsky, lawyer of the Hermitage Capital fund, who died in remand prison.
According to Yuri Chaika, the Prosecutor General's office, in particular, will conduct an inquest into the tax evasion criminal case against Magnitsky and William Browder, head of the fund, investigated by the Ministry of the Interior.
"Just recently, the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation has initiated a criminal investigation into the death of Magnitsky. It is in the framework of the case that the authorities will verify the legitimacy of medical treatment, check if detention conditions were proper and if the investigating authorities had legitimate grounds for initiating criminal proceedings against Magnitsky, Browder, and others", said Yuri Chaika after meeting with President. Prosecutor General's office will also increase supervision of the third case that has been initiated recently over embezzlement of funds from the budget of the Russian Federation through value added tax (VAT) return on forged documents. Prosecutor General's office intends to intensify supervision of investigation of the mentioned cases by employing highly qualified professionals who specialize in such crimes investigation. "I will have the best prosecutors of Russia work on these cases," said Yuri Chaika.
According to The Russian Mafia web-site (rumafia.com), in 2007 Sergey Magnitsky represented the Hermitage Fund and HSBC bank. On November 16, 2009 he died in the Matrosskaya Tishina prison. According to preliminary data, his death was caused by toxic shock syndrome and acute cardiovascular failure. Magnitsky was 37 years old.
In 2008 Magnitsky testified that some law enforcement officials were involved in large scale theft. Their actions, he said, damaged both the Hermitage Company and the state. According to Magnitsky’s testimony, the MVD and the Federal Tax Service were involved in the theft. The two government agencies stole more than 5 billion rubles that Hermitage had paid in taxes.
In autumn 2008 Magnitsky was arrested on suspicion of tax evasion and put in jail, where he died. Representatives of the lawyer claim that Magnitsky was denied treatment and pressed to recant his testimony.