Lawyer’s Mother Takes on Russian Officials

Washington Post

Nearly two years after her son died in custody, a slight, 59-year-old retired teacher is confronting the powerful officials who put him in prison and oversaw the system that has been blamed for his death.

Natalya Magnitskaya has avoided public attention since her only child, Sergei L. Magnitsky, died in pre-trial detention. Working for an American law firm in Moscow, he had uncovered a $230 million tax fraud and accused police of the crime. The very officers he testified against soon arrested him and charged him with the fraud.

Now, despairing that those who caused his death will ever be prosecuted, Natalya Magnitskaya has filed an official complaint with Russia’s Investigative Committee, asking for a murder investigation of Russia’s chief prosecutor, deputy interior minister and other police, security and prison officials.

Newly discovered documents accompany her complaint: Three days after Magnitsky died, in November 2009, an investigator filed a report saying the evidence warranted opening a murder case. That report was never publicly disclosed, and a week later, as the death raised concerns around the world, the authorities began investigating negligence instead of homicide.

The complaint, accompanied by photos of his injured wrists and hands, asserts that Magnitsky was beaten by eight officers with rubber batons in the last hour of his life, an allegation that has not been investigated even though it was raised by a presidential commission.

“I didn’t understand the scale of the corruption,” his mother said in an interview last week.

Magnitsky’s agonizing death at the age of 37 — he had developed pancreatitis and gallstones in prison that went untreated even though a doctor ordered surgery— has become an international incident, setting off a legislative assault against Russia in the U.S. Congress, threats of sanctions from European leaders and the probe ordered by President Dmitry Medvedev, which found the charges against Magnitsky had been fabricated and his confinement tantamount to torture.

With Russian officials under intense pressure to explain why and how Magnitsky died—the cause was reported as heart failure—two prison doctors recently were charged with negligence.

“Not only doctors are to blame,” his mother said, “but only doctors have been accused.”

Her lawyers have been steadily peppering the Investigative Committee and other agencies with requests for information about Sergei’s death. They have been unable to see prison records—on the grounds that none of his rights had been violated—and have been refused access to investigations that cleared police personnel of any connection to the death. Neither have they been able to have experts review medical records and tissue samples. On Friday, the committee said it could not immediately say what had happened to Magnitskaya’s new complaint. онлайн займы срочный займ https://zp-pdl.com/online-payday-loans-in-america.php https://zp-pdl.com/fast-and-easy-payday-loans-online.php займ на карту срочно без отказа

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