European Court of Human Rights Finds Russia’s Multiple Violations in Magnitsky Case

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Friday, September 6, 2019
Michael Plachta

On August 27, 2019, the European Court of Human Rights – Third Section (ECtHR or “the Court”) delivered a judgment in the case of Magnitsky and Others v. Russia (application numbers 32631/09 and 53799/12). It concerned Sergei Magnitsky, an auditor charged with organized tax evasion who died in pre-trial detention in November 2009. He was later convicted posthumously. In the Court’s judgment, it unanimously held that there had been: a violation of the substantive and procedural limbs of Article 2 (right to life) of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR or “the Convention”), a violation of Article 3 (prohibition of ill-treatment) owing to the conditions of Mr. Magnitskiy’s detention; a violation of Article 3 owing to Mr. Magnitskiy’s ill-treatment by prison guards and the lack of an effective investigation into that issue; a violation of Article 5 § 3 (right to liberty and security) owing to the length of his detention; and a violation of Article 6 §§ 1 and 2 (right to a fair trial and presumption of innocence) owing to the posthumous proceedings and his conviction.