Jailed UK businessman faces Magnitsky’s fate

The lawyers for a British businessman being held in a Moscow pre-trial detention center say their client is very ill and urgently needs proper medical attention.

Darren Keane, the 43-year-old CEO of an international gambling company, is accused of letting the company’s casinos operate illegally. He faces as much as five years in jail or a fine of $18,000.

Police found roulette wheels and slot machines during an April raid on a site operated by Keane’s company, which was the biggest casino operator in Russia before President Dmitry Medvedev limited gambling to four designated areas outside Moscow.

The Moscow Court put Keane into pre-trial detention until August 22, rejecting two requests for bail because Keane is a foreign citizen.

Seriously ill with thrombosis, Keane has allegedly been denied appropriate treatment since his arrest in June. The businessman’s lawyers say that his condition has badly worsened, and that he has a clot in his leg that is swollen.

The pre-trial detention center’s doctors deny being inattentive to the inmate.

“He was transferred to pre-trial detention center #1 for a medical examination,” Sergey Mazurov, head of the pre-trial detention center hospital, told RT. “The doctors cut open his knee and drew out the excessive liquid; they also x-rayed it. His body temperature later dropped. The doctors also changed the dose of his medication.”

Keane’s lawyers, however, are afraid that the pre-trial detention may end up in tragedy.

“We wouldn’t like to see a repeat of the Magnitsky situation,” lawyer Anna Medvedeva told Bloomberg News.

Sergey Magnitsky, a 37-year-old lawyer for the Hermitage Capital Management Fund, was arrested by Russian authorities on charges of alleged tax evasion, and died of a heart attack while in a Moscow pre-trial detention facility on November 16, 2009.

The fund maintained that the true reason for his detention was that he had uncovered a multi-million dollar corruption scheme involving high-ranking state officials. His family and colleagues also claimed he was abused in prison and deliberately denied medical treatment.

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