Engineering firm chief denied medical attention in custody

Lawyers for the head of power engineering manufacturer Energomash say that he has received no medical attention for a variety of complaints while in custody.

Alexander Stepanov is accused of defrauding Russia’s biggest bank, Sberbank, of 12.7 billion rubles ($449 million). He was arrested last month and locked up in a pre-trial detention center.

Lawyer Pavel Zaytsev has applied for Stepanov’s release, saying he is suffering from “severe rheumatism and a range of illnesses that require permanent medical attention.”

“We wanted to arrange a medical check but a police investigator has refused to give us his medical record, without which the check can not be carried out properly,” Zaytsev told Russia’s REN TV channel.

Russia’s parliament approved a law last year allowing the release of seriously ill suspects from pre-trial detention following a series of high-publicized jail deaths.

In November 2009, prominent lawyer Sergei Magnitsky, who was awaiting trial on charges of tax evasion, died in Moscow’s Butyrka pre-trial detention center after being refused medical attention for pancreatitis.

Six months later, real estate agency owner Vera Trifonova died in Moscow’s notorious Matrosskaya Tishina jail after being refused medical treatment for severe diabetes. She was advised to sleep “standing up” to alleviate her condition.

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev last year banned the detention of suspects charged with economic crimes.

MOSCOW, April 6 (RIA Novosti)

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