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Russian prison official cleared over Magnitsky death

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Russian prison official cleared over Magnitsky death


A Moscow court has acquitted Dmitry Kratov, the only prison official to stand trial over the death of anti-corruption lawyer Sergey Magnitsky.

A thorn in the side of the Russian government, Magnitsky claimed he had uncovered a huge web of corruption involving the state tax authorities.

Magnitsky himself was charged with corruption and jailed in 2008. He died of a heart attack in prison less than a year later while awaiting trial, aged 37. His lawyers argued that he did not receive adequate medical care.

Kratov, the jail’s former assistant head, has been cleared of negligence. “Thank you to the judge for a just decision. Thank you to all of those people who supported me, who believed in my honesty,” he said.

Earlier this year, charges were also dropped against the prison doctor who treated Magnitsky.

His death made him a symbol for the struggle against state corruption in Russia, and soured the country’s relations with the US. Washington has recently brought in the US Magnitsky Act, blacklisting Russian officials accused of human rights abuses.

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