Doctor treating Sergei Magnitsky gives more details on his death

The doctor, treating Hermitage Capital's lawyer Sergei Magnitsky when he was in jail, claims that Magnitsky's condition deteriorated sharply a few days before his death in November 2009.

"There were some dynamics - a week after he was hospitalized his condition improved, and he didn't have any complaints. Magnitsky expected to be released on Nov. 12 [2009], and we discharged him on the 11th," Larisa Litvinova said in court.

Litvinova was being questioned as a witness during the trial at Moscow's Tverskoi Court of Dmitry Kratov, a former deputy head of the city's Butyrka detention center, and the only person to be prosecuted for Magnitsky's death at Butyrka on Nov. 16.

Litvinova was also charged initially, but her case was quashed in April 2012 because of running beyond the judicial time limit.

"On the 16th I came to work and was surprised - I was told that his condition had deteriorated again. I was amazed at such an aggravation," she said. "He started vomiting and was having liver pain."

This happened after Magnitsky had his detention term extended, Litvinova said.

She claimed the Butyrka hospital had improper conditions for treatment. "It's a charity shelter really, there were only two doctors," she said.

Litvinova said she had been taken on as a lab specialist for the hospital, but it turned out that there was no lab. Eventually she was in charge of sanitary discipline, she said.

"I happily worked for nine months in my job, but then the last internist quit," she said. After that she had to "look after patients with chronic illnesses," and "Kratov and I were the only doctors left," Litvinova said.

"When Magnitsky was admitted, he record stated he had pancreatitis and gallstones - the picture was clear. He was complaining about stomach and back pains that were spreading into his upper abdomen. I was carrying out Kratov's instructions to follow the treatment plan," Litvinova said.

"I wasn't treating him, just observing," she added.

Litvinova consulted her lawyer before answering questions at the court session.

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