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Activists Vow to Ensure Full Inquiry Into Magnitsky Death

Image of Memorial Flowers and Photo of Sergei Magnitsky
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MOSCOW. Nov 16 (Interfax) - Two years after the death of Hermitage Capital lawyer Sergei Magnitsky in a Moscow jail, human rights activists are now saying that they will not stop trying to secure a full and proper investigation of this tragedy.

"We will not leave this inquiry until it is complete and all those responsible are punished," head of Moscow Helsinki Group Lyudmila Alexeyeva told Interfax.

"The investigation must focus not only on Magnitsky's death, but also on the public funds embezzlement exposed by Magnitsky," she said.

Human rights activists will seek to ensure better custody conditions and the handover of prison medicine to civilian specialists, Alexeyeva said.

Magnitsky died in Moscow's Butyrka pretrial detention center on November 16, 2009, while awaiting trial on tax evasion charges.

Rights defenders insist that prison medics and law enforcement officers are to blame for his death that caused a huge public outcry in Russia and abroad.

On July 4, 2011, the Investigative Committee announced the results of an additional forensic examination. As a result, criminal charges were filed against Butyrka doctors Dmitry Kratov (Article 293 of the Criminal Code, "negligence") and Larisa Litvinova (Article 109, "causing death by inadvertence").

On August 2, the Prosecutor General's Office re-opened a criminal investigation based on charges of tax evasion brought against Magnitsky.

In July, the U.S. State Department compiled a 'black list' of Russian officials it suspects of involvement in Magnitsky's death. The list includes Federal Security Service (FSB) officers, top and medium-rank policemen, prison guards and medics, prosecutors and tax inspectors.

As a measure of reply, 11 U.S. citizens have been entered on Russia's 'black list.'

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