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Magnitsky Doctors' Case Ready

The Investigative Committee said Tuesday that it has completed its probe into two prison medics charged in the death of Hermitage Capital lawyer Sergei Magnitsky in 2009.

The investigation will continue and others may be charged, but the case against the medics — widely considered minor players in Magnitsky death — was ready to proceed, the committee said in a statement on its web site.

Larisa Litvinova, a doctor at Moscow's Butyrskaya pretrial prison, was charged in August with involuntary manslaughter, punishable by up to three years in prison. Her superior, Dmitry Kratov, faces up to five years on negligence charges.

No date was given for when the case would be forwarded to the court.

A Hermitage spokesman said that unless the case was expanded to include other prison staff, as well as judges and the investigators who put Magnitsky behind bars, it was a little more than scapegoating, Interfax reported.

Magnitsky was put in pretrial detention on tax evasion charges by officials whom he earlier accused of siphoning $230 million from the federal budget. He died in detention 11 months after the arrest. Hermitage said authorities rejected about 450 complaints filed by Magnitsky over the period, Vedomosti reported in 2009.

Investigators say prison officials denied Magnitsky medical help. They have not commented on findings of an independent Kremlin-ordered check that said in July that Magnitsky was beaten by prison guards hours before his death.

No one has been punished so far over Magnitsky's death. The U.S. State Department said this summer that it has blacklisted entry to some of the 60 officials implicated in the case. The Canadian parliament is currently considering a similar ban.

The Russian Foreign Ministry, which already implemented a tit-for-tat blacklist against unspecified U.S. officials accused of rights violations, said Tuesday that such measures could also be taken against Canada if it introduces the visa ban.

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