Magnitsky death probe extended to November

The Russian Investigative Committee has extended its investigation into the controversial death of Russian lawyer Sergei Magnitsky to November 24, 2011, an official spokesman said on Wednesday.

Two doctors were charged over Magnitsky’s death earlier this month. A Kremlin rights council said the death of the Hermitage Capital lawyer was likely to have resulted from a beating in jail and the failure of prison doctors to provide timely medical assistance to him.

“The inquiry has been extended as it is necessary to take further investigative measures… and examine the information provided by those accused to prove their innocence,” Investigative Committee spokesman Vladimir Markin said.

Magnitsky died in November 2009 after almost a year in Moscow’s notorious Matrosskaya Tishina pretrial detention center. He was detained on tax evasion charges shortly after announcing he had uncovered massive fraud by police investigators.

In July, a Kremlin rights council said the charges against Magnitsky were fraudulent. Human rights activists and his former colleagues allege the officers he had accused were involved in his death, which was originally said to have been the result of “heart failure.”

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