MOSCOW, October 21 (RAPSI) – The Moscow City Court has dismissed an appeal over termination of posthumous action against Hermitage Capital auditor Sergei Magnitsky who died in 2009 in pretrial detention being accused of a tax fraud, RAPSI reports from the courtroom on Monday.

On November 24, 2008, Magnitsky, an auditor of Hermitage Capital, was arrested on suspicion of masterminding large-scale corporate tax evasion. He died in Butyrka pretrial detention center on November 16, 2009 after spending a year behind bars. According to the Prosecutor General's Office, his death was caused by cardiovascular insufficiency.

Under Russian law, it is possible to prosecute a dead defendant. Magnitsky is the first such individual to be prosecuted in accordance with the law.

The prosecutorial right to investigate a case against a deceased person, and a court’s right to consider such a case, was established in the Russian judicial system on July 14, 2011. That was the day when the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation declared unconstitutional a number of provisions of the Criminal Procedure Code which allowed a case to be dropped on the grounds that the suspect had died, regardless of the relatives’ insistence that he be rehabilitated.