5/7 Tass 393
NALCHIK, July 5 (Itar-Tass) —— Criminal actions led to the death of Hermitage Capital attorney Sergei Magnitsky, President Dmitry Medvedev said at the Tuesday meeting of his Human Rights Council.
“The Magnitsky case is a very sad case. The man is gone. There must be some criminal actions that caused that result [the death]. People must not die in prison. If they are unwell, they must be released for receiving therapy. After that a court will make a ruling,” he said.
“However, I would not want to reduce the problem of a large number of people, some of whom may be put to prison unfairly, to one case only. I have an impression sometimes that this country has only two problems, which concern human rights defenders, prosecutors and, finally, the president, i.e. the cases of Magnitsky and Khodorkovsky. These are big and serious cases, but I still think that we should take a more profound view,” he said.
Medvedev will convey the conclusions of the Presidential Human Rights Council in the Magnitsky case to law enforcers, Council member Yelena Panfilova told reporters earlier in the day.
The report will be submitted to the Russian Investigation Committee and the Prosecutor’s Office, she said.
The Council noted that the Magnitsky case was analyzed by separate aspects, among them embezzlement, the attorney’ s death and the criminal charges against Magnitsky.
“We think that all these elements must be analyzed together,” she said. “Our main conclusion is that it was a clash of interests. For an unknown reason, the people accused by Magnitsky of a crime were included in the investigative team that scrutinized his case. That is impossible.”
“We highlighted the procedural violations, i.e. highly doubtful documents presented to courts. We also commented on the medical aspects and said that it was the case of impermissible cruelty and the denial medical aid shortly before Magnitsky’s death,” she said.
Panfilova did not say whether it was negligence or personal interest. She noted that the investigators would establish the truth.
The president said that the death of Magnitsky was tragic, but many other people died the same way and the problem required a systemic solution, Panfilova said.
The Council concluded that the case of Hermitage Capital attorney Sergei Magnitsky was investigated by an improper detective team, Council member Mara Polyakova said.
“It is already obvious that personnel of the detention ward and the infirmary are guilty of his death. We can also say that an improper detective team was investigating his case,” she said.
Polyakova, who chairs the Board of the Independent Legal Expert Council regional public organization, informed President Dmitry Medvedev about the preliminary conclusions of the Council.
In her words, the team included individuals accused by Magnitsky of a crime.
“That fact was sufficient for barring those people from investigative procedures,” she remarked.
“There were procedural violations in the apprehension of Magnitsky, for instance, there was no weighty evidence to confirm that Magnitsky was putting pressure on witnesses or made attempts to escape,” she said. “There was no tangible evidence and the evidence presented could not be called competent.”
For instance, the Council rejected the statement that Magnitsky had tried to impede a search. “Attesting witnesses said nothing about that in the search report,” she noted.
Polyakova said that the Presidential Council had confirmed the opinion of the Investigation Committee that Magnitsky was denied appropriate medical aid. “Before taking a medical examination, Magnitsky was suddenly moved to the detention ward, which actually cut him off from timely medical examination and necessary drugs. There were other violations, as well,” she said.
Polyakova found it difficult to say when the final report on the Magnitsky case would be ready. “We will have to study every case related to Magnitsky this way or another. Only then we will be able to say whether his case was founded and whether there was an element of corruption in it,” she said.
As for the doctors that may be responsible for the death of Magnitsky, Polyakova said that the monitoring commission’s report mentioned Gauss as the man who did not give medical aid to Magnitsky.