Nikolai Gorokhov, the lawyer for the family of Sergei Magnitsky, is in critical condition after experiencing a fall from a fourth-story window on the morning of a key hearing. Some reports are saying that he jumped from his apartment as a crane was lifting a large bathtub into his home. Other reports are alleging that he was a victim of defenestration.
Gorokhov was scheduled to appear in court to reopen the case of Magnitsky’s 2009 death. Magnitsky was a Russian tax attorney who was beaten to death by prison guards. Russia posthumously put him on trial for tax evasion. He allegedly uncovered a $230m scheme in which organized crime colluded with the police, tax officials, and judges to steal tax revenues from the state. At the time of Magnitsky’s death, Putin claimed it resulted from heart failure (at age 37).
Grokhov is not the first person related to the Magnitsky scandal to experience an unusual accident. In 2012, Alexander Perepilichny, died jogging outside his UK home, in an act that has since been linked to poisoned soup. Perepilichny was involved in assisting the investigation that Magnitsky had started.
Magnitsky’s death created the “Magnitsky list” in the United States, which prohibits anyone suspected of involvement in the lawyer’s death from holding assets in the U.S. or traveling there.
Russia’s state press is reporting that Gorokhov’s fall was a result of unsafe handling of the bathtub installation and that law enforcement suspects no foul play. Gorokhov is in intensive care and in a serious condition, but he is responsive and speaking to doctors.
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