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Charges in Magnitsky Case Brought Against Scapegoats - Hermitage Capital

MOSCOW. Aug 15 (Interfax) - The Hermitage Capital fund regards the announcement of the Russian Investigative Committee that charges were brought against a doctor of Butyrka detention facility Larisa Litvinova, and deputy chief of the facility Dmitry Kratov as clearly insufficient and indicating the restriction of the list of persons responsible for the death of Sergei Magnitsky.

"These are only two persons out of 60 included in the Cardin List of persons involved in the illegal arrest and persecution of Sergei Magnitsky and the large-scale embezzlement of budget funds by Interior Ministry and the tax officials he had exposed," a statement of Hermitage Capital obtained by Interfax says.

"These are small fry and actors who committed crimes intentionally; therefore, any negligence in their actions is out of the question. But the main thing is that the investigation relieves the organizers of the crime against Magnitsky of responsibility," the statement says.

It notes that charges were brought against Litvinova and Kratov only after the appearance of the Cardin List.

"The investigation knew the names and roles of these two people, Kratov and Litvinova, over 20 months ago, but charges were brought only now when the West imposed sanctions against officials from the Cardin List," the statement says.

It also says that law enforcers are trying to shift the blame from senior officials.

"The fact that a criminal case has still not been launched against the officials involved in the systemic embezzlement of billions of rubles from the budget exposed by Magnitsky, those who embezzled millions of dollars, indicates that no serous investigation is conducted, while law enforcement bodies are trying to relieve corrupt officials from any responsibility," the statement says.

Magnitsky died in the Matrosskaya Tishina detention facility on November 16, 2009, at the age of 37. He had been charged with tax evasion.

Magnitsky's death drew broad public response. The Investigative Committee opened a criminal case on charges of failure to provide assistance to a patient and negligence.

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