Moscow court refuses to hold conference call with Browder
MOSCOW, June 26 (RAPSI, Diana Gutsul) - Moscow's Tverskoy District Court on Wednesday refused to explain his rights to Hermitage Capital fund CEO William Browder, who has been charged with tax evasion, or to hold a conference call with him, RAPSI reports from the court.
The court has thereby dismissed the motion filed by Browder's attorney Kirill Goncharov.
The prosecutors said the case materials include requests to the UK on the need to explain to Browder his rights.
According to the case materials, the document on involving Browder in the case as a defendant has been translated into English and sent to his place of residence.
Another document reads that the UK authorities have refused to cooperate with Russia's investigative agencies.
In view of the above, the prosecutors argued that Browder's appeal was ungrounded and that the investigators acted strictly in accordance with the law.
The court listened to the prosecutors' opinion, read the Russian side's requests, and the UK authorities' replies, and dismissed the motion.
The next hearing has been scheduled for July 3.
Browder is believed to have illegally purchased Gazprom stock when foreign ownership of the world's largest natural gas producer was restricted.
He is also on trial in absentia alongside Magnitsky for the alleged embezzlement of hundreds of millions of rubles from the federal budget by manipulating tax returns between September and October 2007.
Hermitage Capital maintains that it paid 5.4 billion rubles ($180 million) in taxes, but the money was stolen by corporate raiders with the help of law enforcement officials.
Magnitsky, who died in pretrial detention in Moscow in 2009, was prosecuted for the theft. The case was closed after his death, only to be reopened later.
Under Russian law, a person can be prosecuted after their death.
In March 2013, Browder announced that Hermitage Capital would cease its operations in Russia.