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France Enters Magnitsky Fray

France has become the latest Western country to publicly criticize Russia's investigation into the death of Hermitage Capital lawyer Sergei Magnitsky in pretrial detention in 2009.

"The circumstances of the death of Mr. Magnitsky, who led a courageous fight against corruption and arbitrariness, are a matter of great concern for us," Foreign Minister Alain Juppe wrote in a letter to French National Assembly Deputy Jack Lang.

Magnitsky was arrested after accusing officials of stealing $230 million from the government and died in pretrial detention. Two prison doctors have been charged with negligence over his death, but no one else has faced punishment.

This summer, the U.S. State Department blacklisted dozens of officials implicated in the case.

(MT)

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