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Kremlin Forwards Outside Appeal on Magnitsky’s Death

President Dmitry Medvedev has forwarded to the Investigative Committee an appeal from an international alliance of lawyers for justice in the death of Hermitage Capital lawyer Sergei Magnitsky, the association said Thursday.

In July, TAGLaw, a legal network that unites 147 law firms in 81 countries, including Magnitsky's employer, sent an open letter to Medvedev, calling on him to investigate allegations that Magnitsky was “tortured to death.”

The appeal will now be considered by the Investigative Committee, TAGLaw said, citing a letter from the Prosecutor General's Office.

The Kremlin and investigators did not comment on the statement.

In the letter to Medvedev, TAGLaw said Russian authorities were ignoring “strong evidence” that Magnitsky was effectively killed by the Interior Ministry officers whom he had testified against.

"The almost total lack of legal protection and the absence of effective restraints on government officials" will hurt foreign investment in Russia, said the letter, copies of which were sent to the United Nations and the U.S. government and Congress.

Earlier this summer, Magnitsky's supporters released videos accusing police investigators Pavel Karpov and Artyom Kuznetsov, against whom Magnitsky had testified, of corruption.

The Interior Ministry opened an internal investigation on the allegations earlier this month.

Magnitsky, 37, died of heart failure in November in a pretrial prison where he was jailed for 12 months while awaiting trial on tax charges. His supporters said he was intentionally denied sufficient medical help.

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