Dmitry Kratov sits in a courtroom in Moscow, December 28, 2012.
A court in Russia has acquitted a senior prison official who had been charged in the murder case of an anti-corruption lawyer called Sergei Magnitsky, saying there was “no evidence that the man committed a crime.”
“The court has issued the verdict to acquit Dmitry Borisovich Kratov in the criminal charges he is accused of, according to article 293 part two of the criminal codex of the Russian Federation,... and due to the lack of actions constituting a crime,” said Judge Tatiana Neverova of the Tverskoy district court on Friday.
This comes after a Russian prosecutor asked the court to drop the charges against the former prison medical officer on December 24.
Prosecutor Dmitry Bokov said, “There is no cause-effect relationship between Kratov’s actions and Magnitsky’s death.”
Bokov added that Kratov, deputy head of the prison where Magnitsky was held, should be cleared of the charge of negligence since he had acted according to the rules and had been unaware of Magnitsky’s health condition.
Magnitsky was a lawyer who lost his life due to untreated illnesses at a Moscow jail in 2009 before being tried.
The 37-year-old had exposed what he claimed was a USD 230-million tax fraud carried out by Russian authorities before being arrested by the same officials who he believed were linked to the scheme.
In April, charges against prison doctor Larisa Litvinova, who treated Magnitsky and was accused of causing his death by negligence, were dropped after the expiry of the statute of limitations.