The trial of Russian lawyer Sergei Magnitsky is to begin next month, even though he died in prison three years ago. A court in Moscow court ruled that the hearing, due initially to start on Monday, would now be held on 4 March. Mr Magnitsky's relatives regard the unusual case as illegal.
Mr Magnitsky was arrested in 2008 after accusing officials of tax fraud but
was later himself accused of those crimes. He died in custody a year later. The case is believed to be the first time in Soviet or Russian history that a
defendant will have been tried posthumously.
Mr Magnitsky represented London-based Hermitage Capital Management. He
uncovered what he described as a web of corruption involving Russian tax
officials, including the alleged theft of more than $200m (£125m). After reporting the allegations to the authorities, he was himself detained
on suspicion of aiding tax evasion.
In December, a Moscow court acquitted a prison doctor accused of negligence
over Mr Magnitsky's death. He had pancreatitis, but an investigation by Russia's presidential council on
human rights concluded that he had been severely beaten and denied medical