Russian Investigative Committee refuses to probe Magnitsky prison death

The Russian Investigative Committee has refused to reopen an investigation into Hermitage Capital employee Sergei Magnitsky's death at a Moscow detention facility in 2009, Hermitage Capital said in a statement.

The Russian Investigative Committee has refused to reopen an investigation into Hermitage Capital employee Sergei Magnitsky's death at a Moscow detention facility in 2009, Hermitage Capital said in a statement.

The Russian Investigative Committee has declined a motion filed by Sergei Magnitsky's mother, Natalya Magnitskaya, on reopening the investigation into the death of her 37-year-old son and conducting an independent examination, saying that it found no reasons to reverse its decision on closing a criminal case into the matter, it said.

Magnitskaya earlier appealed to the Investigative Committee against the way the investigation into the causes of her son's death had been conducted. In particular, she claimed that no independent examination of her son's inner organs and tissues was carried out, while the forensic medical experts' conclusions were based on mutually excluding facts and inaccurate information and that traces of violence were found on his body.

It was reported earlier that the Investigative Committee had closed the criminal case into Magnitsky's death due to the absence of a criminal event in March 2013.

It said then that, while Magnitsky was held at a detention facility, no pressure, or physical violence or torture were applied to him.

Forensic medical experts concluded that Magnitsky died of acute cardiovascular insufficiency and cerebral and pulmonary edema with an acute hemorrhage that developed due to "ventricular fibrillation resulting from a complication of two major concurrent diseases, i.e. secondary dysmetabolic cardiomyopathy combined with diabetes mellitus and active chronic hepatitis."

Magnitsky, who was accused of tax evasion, died in a Moscow detention facility on November 16, 2009. Magnitsky's defense said he had repeatedly complained of his health and had asked to be examined. Magnitsky's death drew broad public response. Human rights activists blamed his death on doctors and law enforcement officials.

In July 2011, the Russian Investigative Committee completed an additional medical review on the results of which detention facility chief Dmitry Kratov was charged with negligence which led to death. The Tverskoy Court acquitted Kratov on December 28, 2012, ruling that Magnitsky indeed died of acute heart failure, as was earlier stated by experts.

Charges were also brought against Larisa Litvinova, a doctor who worked at the Butyrka detention facility (she was charged with manslaughter). In April 2012, the Hermitage Capital Foundation reported that the charges against Litvinova had been dropped due to the expiration of the statute of limitations.

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