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Magnitsky Lawyer Falls Several Stories, Seriously Injured Ahead Of Court Date


Russian lawyer Sergei Magnitsky died in custody in 2009. (file photo)

A lawyer representing the family of the deceased Russian whistle-blower Sergei Magnitsky has been hospitalized in Moscow with serious injuries after falling several stories.

The incident on March 21 happened one day before he was to appear in court in connection with the Magnitsky case.

Magnitsky's former employer, U.S.-born British investor Bill Browder, said in a statement on March 21 that lawyer Nikolai Gorokhov was "thrown from the fourth floor of his apartment building."

Russian news reports suggested his fall may have been an accident.

Nikolai Gorokhov
Nikolai Gorokhov

Magnitsky's death in November 2009 while in pretrial detention in Moscow was the catalyst for a 2012 U.S. law, which Browder lobbied for, allowing sanctions against alleged Russian rights abusers.

Magnitsky's family and friends say he was jailed, tortured, and denied medical treatment that could have saved his life as retribution for accusing law-enforcement and tax officials of stealing $230 million from Russian coffers.

Browder said in his March 21 statement that Gorokhov was set to appear before a Moscow appeals court on March 22.

Browder said Gorokhov planned to argue against a lower court's refusal to consider a new criminal complaint from Magnitsky's mother in connection with the fraud that her son uncovered.

Two Kremlin-loyal news outlets reported on March 21 that Gorokhov fell while trying to move a Jacuzzi up to his apartment together with two movers.

Those reports included photos and a video of a shattered tub outside a building. The news outlets claimed it was the Jacuzzi that was being moved.

The respected independent Russian newspaper Novaya Gazeta cited a representative of Browder’s company, Hermitage Capital, as saying Gorokhov was trying to bring a bathtub up to his apartment.

But it said the circumstances behind his fall remain murky.

With reporting by echo.msk.ru, Life.ru, ren.tv, and Novaya Gazeta
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