Russian Interior Ministry defends investigators in Magnitsky case

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Russia's Interior Ministry said on Monday that allegations of bribe-taking against investigators in the Sergei Magnitsky case were unfounded.

Russia's Interior Ministry said on Monday that allegations of bribe-taking against investigators in the Sergei Magnitsky case were unfounded.

Corruption charges have been brought against Artyom Kuznetsov and Pavel Karpov by Jamison Firestone, a founding partner of the law firm Firestone Duncan.

Firestone was an associate of Magnitsky, who died in custody last November after defending UK's investment company Hermitage Capital Management against tax evasion charges.

Magnitsky testified against Kuznetsov and Karpov, alleging that the men were involved in a massive scheme to defraud the state of almost over $200 million. He was then arrested and died in a Moscow pre-trial prison after the pancreatitis he subsequently developed was not attended to.

Firestone subsequently said that the investigators and their relatives had spent several million dollars each on property in the past few years.

"Besides being employed as police officers, they have relatives who have the right to do business and have higher incomes than those of government officials," Interior Ministry investigative committee spokeswoman Irina Dudukina said.

"Everything's legitimate, and everything's been verified," she said.

Under federal law, all police officers are obliged to declare their income and the income of their relatives.

Investigators claim Magnitsky conspired with Hermitage Capital CEO Bill Browder to set up phony firms to trade shares in energy giant Gazprom.

 

MOSCOW, November 15 (RIA Novosti)

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