Investigators refuse to hand over Magnitsky’s DNA to his mother

Moscow’s Basmanny District Court on Monday declared legal investigators’ refusal to give the DNA of lawyer Sergei Magnitsky, who died in police custody, to his mother for a medical examination.

Magnitsky’s mother wanted investigators to provide her with her late son’s DNA to carry out an independent genetic examination to find out the cause of his death as she did not believe the official version.

Magnitsky, a former lawyer for Hermitage Capital investment fund, died after almost a year in Moscow’s notorious Matrosskaya Tishina pre-trial detention center in November 2009.

He had been arrested on tax evasion charges just days after claiming that police investigators had stolen $230 million from the state. Some of the police offers he had accused of embezzling from the state were responsible for his arrest.

On Monday the Russian Investigative Committee accused Magnitsky’s doctor at the pre-trail detention center, Larisa Litvinova and former chief medical offer Dmitry Kratov of negligence that leading to the lawyer’s death. They may receive up to five years in jail if found guilty.

Magnitsky’s death caused an international outcry from world human rights organizations and the business community.

President Dmitry Medvedev, for whom the Magnitsky case has been seen as a test of his pledge to battle corruption, said earlier that the lawyer’s death was “a crime.”

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