Trial of prison warden where Magnitsky died to continue in Moscow

Moscow's Tverskoi Court on Tuesday will continue hearings of the criminal case against a former deputy head of Butyrka prison, Dmitry Kratov, who is the only suspect thus far to have been accused of negligence leading to Hermitage Capital lawyer Sergei Magnitsky's death.

Evidence is expected to be provided by investigator Oleg Silchenko, who probed the Magnitsky case and who insisted repeatedly that Magnitsky's arrest be extended.

Magnitsky's mother Natalya said in court on October 2 that Kratov had denied Magnitsky a proper medical examination several times.

"I met with Kratov and I asked him to transfer my son to Matrosskaya Tishina prison for an ultrasound examination. Sergei had requested the same," Natalya Magnitskaya said as the injured party.

She said she made this request two months before her son's death. An ultrasound examination was  required, given the illnesses diagnosed, she said, adding that the decision to transfer her son to a detention facility where no such examination was available, was illegal.

Kratov rejected the request knowingly, Natalya claimed. "He was aware that the conditions he was creating for my son were tantamount to torture," she said.

"I want the court to establish how my young and healthy son could have been diagnosed as a terminally ill person 12 months after he was detained. My son did not die on an empty street, or in an empty hallway of an apartment building. He died at a state establishment in front of many eyewitnesses," she said.

Magnitsky, who was accused of tax evasion, died at a Moscow detention facility on November 16, 2009, after suffering acute cardiac arrest. Magnitsky's defense lawyers claimed that he had complained of health problems and requested a thorough medical examination.

Magnitsky's death caused a public outcry and human rights campaigners said doctors and police were to blame for his death.

The Russian Investigative Committee completed an additional forensic medical  analysis in July 2011 and accused Kratov of "negligence that accidentally led to an inmate's death," a criminal count that carries prison confinement of up to five years.

Investigators said that, "Kratov was negligent regarding inmates' health care needs," which ultimately led to Magnitsky's death.

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