Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Russian Official Acquitted in Jail Death

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Russian Official Acquitted in Jail Death

Article excerpt

MOSCOW -- The only official charged with the death of a Russian whistleblowing lawyer walked free today after a Moscow court acquitted him of negligence, in a case that has become a rallying point for human rights advocates and sparked escalating legislation in the United States and Russia.

Sergei Magnitsky died in jail in 2009 after his pancreatitis went untreated, and an investigation by Russia's presidential council on human rights concluded he was severely beaten and denied medical treatment. Prison doctor Dmitry Kratov was the only person to face trial in the case.

Judge Tatyana Neverova said she found no evidence that Dr. Kratov's negligence could have caused the lawyer's death. The acquittal was widely expected after prosecutors this week dropped their accusations, saying they had decided there was no connection between Dr. Kratov's actions and Magnitsky's death.

The case has angered both Russian activists and the West. The U.S. Congress passed legislation this month in Magnitsky's name, calling for sanctions against officials -- including Dr. …

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