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RUSSIAN FEDERATION SITREP 31 January 2013 [excerpt re: Magnitsky posthumous trial]

Memorial Flowers and Photo of Sergei Magnitsky

[excerpt]
Date: Thu, 31 Jan 2013 15:01:56 -0500
From: Patrick Armstrong <gpa@magma.ca>
Subject: [UTExpertsDiscGrp] RUSSIAN FEDERATION SITREP 20130131

RUSSIAN FEDERATION SITREP 31 January 2013

MAGNITSKIY. Yet another one-sided piece of re-typing has hit the West. The posthumous “trial” of Magnitskiy is being described as bizarre, Kafkaesque, absurd and so on without any background Here is some. A couple of years ago the Russian Constitutional Court ruled that, in cases where the defendant died before the verdict, a trial could/should be held so that the defendant’s name could be cleared (or not, as the case might be). Unusual perhaps, but there is a certain amount of sense. (For example, many of the people condemned by Stalin have been re-tried and exonerated; see here, for example, from 1988 http://www.nytimes.com/1988/11/23/world/soviets-exonerate-a-son-of-trotsky.html). The process in the case of Magnitskiy began about a year ago. For whatever reason, his family does not like the idea. The trial was immediately postponed at the objection of the family, so maybe that’s the end of it. I am informed that British law has a similar procedure which is called a “judicial inquiry” but otherwise proceeds very like a trial. Given all the accusations that have been slung around in the Magnitskiy case, one would think that an inquiry would be welcomed. Or are there parties who only want one verdict? Where is RT in all this, by the way? Isn’t it supposed to give the Russian point of view? But the shape of the story has now been set and it will be added to the indictment.

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