Dead Lawyer’s Trial Delayed

Alexander Zemlianichenko/AP

How can a dead man defend himself? That’s a legitimate question for the courts in Russia, as the trial of a dead lawyer was delayed Monday to allow the defense more time to prepare. Sergei Magnitsky died while in jail in 2009, but his trial was scheduled to begin Monday for allegedly helping the investment fund Hermitage Capital evade $17.4 million in taxes. Not even in the Soviet days did a dead man go on trial, but a recent Supreme Court ruling has allowed police to conduct posthumous investigations. Magnitsky was arrested in 2008 and died a year later from untreated pancreatitis, which is believed to be the result of being severely beaten.