Moscow's Judicial Qualification Committee has suspended a judge who was previously involved in the Sergei Magnitsky scandal, from his post as chairman of the Tverskoy district court, Kommersant daily reported on Saturday.
Judge Igor Alisov personally considered one of the criminal cases against Sergei Magnitsky, a lawyer who died in pre-trial detention in 2009, accused of embezzlement of 5.4 billion rubles ($175.29 million) from the Russian budget, in the form of income tax rebates by companies controlled by the investment fund Hermitage Capital.
Magnitsky was arrested by the same law enforcement officers he had suspected of embezzling the money by taking over Hermitage subsidiaries illegally in conjunction with corrupt tax officials.
Alisov was subsequently included in the so-called Magnitsky list of legal and political figures against whom the EU and the U.S. are introducing sanctions.
The Committee suspended Alisov from his post as Chairman of the court but he will continue to serve as a judge in the court.
Alisov was sacked from the post due to numerous complaints about the court's work, the paper said. The Tverskoy District Court has been the subject of the most complaints among all Moscow’s District Courts, Moscow City Court Chairwoman Olga Egorova said, adding she was “very disappointed” with Alisov’s work.
Alisov officially resigned himself in order to avoid further questions, the paper said.
Most of the complaints related to Alisov's inappropriate and sometimes boorish attitude towards court visitors, and his procrastination in criminal and civil cases, some of which were not considered for months.
As chairman, Alisov personally considered several high-profile cases. In March 2011 he sentenced Vyacheslav Khlebnikov, the general director of Makhaon, a Hermitage Capital subsidiary, to five years in jail for embezzling money from the national budget.
In the same month, he refused to dismiss former Bank of Moscow President Andrei Borodin and his deputy Dmitry Akulinin due to lack of evidence, but had to reverse the decision a month later.
In October 2011 Alisov and two other judges sentenced five activists from the Other Russia party to from two to five years prison for organizing riots on Manezh Square. In March 2012, he released the Deputy Chairman of Vnesheconombank Anatoly Ballo, a suspect in the theft of $14 million, on bail of 5 million rubles ($170,000).