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Doctor Charged in Trifonova's Jail Death

Investigators charged a civilian doctor in the death of Vera Trifonova, a gravely ill businesswoman who died while in pretrial detention in Moscow in April 2010, sparking fury from her family who blame prison officials and investigators for her death.

Alexandra Artamonova, who worked as an emergency room doctor and anesthesiologist at the MONIKI hospital where Trifonova was treated, faces criminal negligence charges, punishable by up to three years in prison, Investigative Committee spokesman Vladimir Markin told Interfax on Friday.

Investigators allege that Artamonova left a catheter in Trifonova’s vein after a medical procedure, causing her death from a blood clot.

Trifonova’s family, however, believes that the charges don’t go nearly far enough, leading them to file a complaint to the Investigative Committee and the Prosecutor General’s Office.

The family’s lawyer, Vladimir Zherebyonkov, told Interfax that an independent medical examination established that Trifonova died of an overdose of atropine and adrenaline during resuscitation procedures at the prison hospital.

Medical procedures ban atropine for use in resuscitation altogether, and prison doctors injected Trifonova with eight times as much atropine as allowed for other medical purposes, Zherebyonkov said.

He argued that Moscow region investigator Sergei Pysin, Matrosskaya Tishina prison head Fikret Tagiyev and Moscow region Judge Olga Makarova must also be charged.

Three independent medical investigations have disproved Artamonova’s guilt, Zherebyonkov said.

Markin said investigators are continuing a separate investigation into the possible role of Pysin and other officials in Trifonova’s death.

Trifonova, 53, a real estate executive, was accused of involvement in a scam to sell a senator’s seat in the Federation Council.

She was ordered to be held in pretrial detention despite suffering from a serious form of Type 2 diabetes.

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