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18 Dec 2009

UK to Look Into Russia Hedge Fund Corruption Claims

New York ( - Commenting on the death of hedge fund Hermitage Capital's anti-corruption lawyer Sergey Magnitskiy, the U.K. Prime Minister said he "was deeply concerned to hear of the death," and, "I welcome the Russian undertaking that there will be a full investigation." the Daily Telegraph reported this morning.

Magnitskiy died on November 16 in a detention centre in Moscow. The US-born, British naturalised lawyer was arrested in 2008 after accusing senior officers in the Interior Ministry of taking part in a $230m state-sponsored scam, leading to the theft of companies owned by hedge funds Hermitage and HSBC. Hermitage has filed law suits and sent letters to Russian anti-corruption authorities, naming top-ranked officials and their role in the alleged tax scam.

The 37 year old father of two was held in Moscow’s Matrosskaya Tishina detention center for almost a year. "Sergey Magnitskiy was refused bail and kept in detention for a year without trial," Hermitage said in a statement. "He was denied the ability to see his mother and his wife and speak to his children for the entire time of his detention."

The U.K. Government has also contacted senior Russian politicians regarding the investigation, the newspaper said.