Russia's Medvedev sides with human rights activists on Sergei Magnitsky killing
"Our report is no abstract document," says Valery Borshchev, a former Duma deputy and coauthor of the report. "We name the people actually responsible for what happened to Magnitsky and cite the evidence that permits us to accuse them of corruption and other legal violations. We name the doctors who withheld medical assistance from him. We don't name any top officials because their involvement has yet to be proven."
Unlawful arrest, brutal detention
Magnitsky, a lawyer with the British-based Hermitage Capital, had filed a 2008 lawsuit alleging a $230 million tax fraud by a number of top Russian law enforcement officials. Within weeks, he was arrested by some of those same officials, charged with fraud, and taken to Matrosskaya Tishina, a notorious Moscow pretrial detention center.
A year later, Magnitsky died of heart failure in prison after apparently being denied medical treatment. The case, which seemed to exemplify the worst of Russia's corruption-ridden justice system and violence-plagued prisons, attracted widespread attention. At the time, Medvedev promised a full investigation.
But the official inquiry presented Monday found no fault with prison officials and merely blamed unnamed doctors for not acting efficiently in his case.
"The experts identified deficiencies in the medical care given to Magnitsky during his detention, which may have prevented a timely diagnosis of his chronic illness," a spokesman for the official Investigative Committee, Vladimir Markin, told journalists. "In this regard, he was not provided with timely and appropriate treatment."