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Court acquits former deputy chief of Butyrka detention centre in Magnitsky death case

December 28, 2012, 12:25 UTC+3

Representatives of Magnitsky’s relatives asked to bring back the criminal case to the investigation for a more detailed probe

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MOSCOW, December 28 (Itar-Tass) — The Tverskoy District Court of Moscow handed down an acquittal verdict to former deputy chief of the Butyrka detention centre Dmitry Kratov, who is accused of negligence, which allegedly resulted in the death of auditor of the British investment fund Hermitage Capital Management Sergei Magnitsky.

Thus, the court has passed the acquittal verdict with due account of the position of the prosecutor’s office, which asked to acquit Kratov for the absence of corpus delicti in his actions.

Judge Tatiana Neverova noted in the acquittal verdict that the accusations brought against the defendant were not proved during the court hearings. “The diseases found in Magnitsky are not linked with his death...The diseases, which caused his death, could not be diagnosed,” the judge said, thus supporting the arguments of the experts and the position of the prosecutor’s office.

Neverova also noted that Kratov had taken all the measures to give aid to Magnitsky over the diseases found in the latter. “Kratov’s negligence was not proved. The corpus delicti is absent in the actions of defendant Kratov,” the judge said.

It took 90 minutes for the court to read out the verdict, which generalized the positions of the litigating parties, the testimony of witnesses and the written evidence in the criminal case.

“On the strength of all stated above the court ruled to acquit Kratov over the lack of corpus delicti in his actions,” Neverova said in conclusion.

At the end of reading the verdict, she explained to Kratov his right for rehabilitation, including the indemnification of material and moral damages, which they sustained over the criminal persecution.

For his part, lawyer Nikolai Gorokhov, who represents the interests of Magnitsky’s family, stated about his intentions to appeal the acquittal verdict.

“We are strongly dissatisfied with the verdict, though it was expectable. We played the passive role in this trial,” the lawyer stated.

Under the law the litigating parties were given ten days to appeal the court verdict.

During the court proceedings representatives of Magnitsky’s relatives asked to bring back the criminal case to the investigation for a more detailed probe.

Kratov pleaded not guilty and asked for an acquittal verdict. “I regret sincerely about the death of Sergei Magnitsky, but I could not influence his fate due to the circumstances of the tragedy. I ask to pass an acquittal verdict for me,” he said in his brief last plea.

Sergei Magnitsky, 37, died at the intensive therapy ward at the hospital at the detention centre Matrosskaya Tishina on November 16, 2009, 11 months after keeping in custody and seven days after the final accusation was brought against him. Before the transfer to the hospital he was being kept at the Butyrka detention centre. The detectives found that Magnitsky was not prescribed with the timely treatment and the adequate therapy was not conducted over a sharp deterioration of his health. The complex forensic expertise found that the combination of several diseases, as well as the shortcomings in the medical aid and the untimely diagnostics of diseases caused the death of the auditor.

In the indictment the detectives noted that Kratov did not take diagnostic and preventive medical measures for Magnitsky in the performance of his duties and did not control their fulfilment. In particular, the former deputy chief of the detention centre Butyrka faced the charge that he did not control the work of the rural doctor, which examined Magnitsky, did not make his immediate medical examination and did not provide him with a qualified surgeon.

The criminal case against Kratov was separated from the main criminal case over the death of the auditor that is being investigated.

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