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January 28, 2013

Russian Court Postpones Magnitsky Hearing

by VOA News

A Russian court has postponed a posthumous hearing against lawyer Sergei Magnitsky until next month.

A Moscow court has appointed a defense team to represent Magnitsky's side after his family and lawyers refused to take part in Monday's courtroom proceedings.

Magnitsky, a Russian anti-corruption lawyer, was imprisoned after accusing officials of involvement in a $230 million tax scam.  After he was detained, he was charged with the very crimes he says he uncovered.  

He died in prison at age 37 after being detained for nearly year, and saying he was denied medical attention.

His case became a symbol of alleged prison abuse in modern Russia and led to a fresh dispute between Moscow and Washington.

The United States enacted the Magnitsky Act, imposing a visa ban and financial sanctions on Russian officials accused of human rights violations.  

Russian President Vladimir Putin then quickly signed a law banning Americans from adopting Russian children.