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Russian Prosecutor Asks for Doctor’s Acquittal in Magnitsky Case

A Russian prosecutor asked for the acquittal of a prison doctor accused of failing to provide medical care to lawyer Sergei Magnitsky before his death in 2009, RIA Novosti reported from the courtroom today.

The prosecutor, Dmitry Bokov, said that he didn’t see any link between the lawyer’s death and the actions of the doctor, according to the state-run news service. The verdict in the case is expected to be delivered on Dec. 28, RIA said.

Russia originally charged two prison doctors with negligence over the lawyer’s death in a Moscow prison and later dropped the charges against one of them because the statute of limitations had run out.

Magnitsky, an attorney for London-based Hermitage Capital Management Ltd., alleged a $230 million tax fraud by Russian officials. He died at age 37 in November 2009 after being beaten to death and denied medical care during almost a year in pretrial detention on fabricated tax-evasion charges, according to a Russian presidential human-rights body.

The U.S. Congress passed a bill this month that imposes a visa ban and asset freeze on Russian officials it links to Magnitsky’s death. Russia’s lower house of parliament approved a ban on U.S. adoptions of Russian children last week in retaliation, a measure that will go to President Vladimir Putin for approval.

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