Suspect Detained in Rehab Patient's Death

Sverdlovsk region police on Thursday detained a man on suspicion of being involved in the death of a patient undergoing treatment at a rehab clinic run by a close ally of billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov.

The man, whom police identified in a statement as 34-year-old Igor Sh., an unemployed Yekaterinburg resident, is the first suspect in an ongoing investigation into the women's clinic operated by Yevgeny Roizman's City Without Drugs fund.

Igor Sh. illegally detained patients and pressured eyewitnesses to give false testimony, police said.

Fund vice president Yevgeny Malenkin confirmed that the suspect was Igor Shabalin, a former patient and current volunteer at the rehab clinic, Interfax reported.

Police have raided Roizman's offices and opened three criminal investigations into conditions at his women's clinic since June 17, when Tatyana Kazantseva, a 29-year-old patient, died after being rushed to the hospital in the city of Berezovsky, a suburb of Yekaterinburg.

Roizman wrote at the time that the woman died of one or more infections, her immune system having been wrecked by heavy drug use, and that the criminal case was politically motivated.

City Without Drugs' tough rehabilitation methods, which include isolating heroin addicts from the outside world — with their relatives' permission — and forcing them to go cold turkey, have been criticized as illegal by rights groups.

Earlier this year, Roizman served as one of Prokhorov's official representatives during the billionaire's failed presidential campaign.

Prokhorov's refusal to oust Roizman from the pro-business Right Cause party, which Prokhorov briefly led in 2011, led to a split in the party amid allegations of Kremlin meddling.

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