Medvedev orders inquiry into causes of jailed lawyer’s death

The Russian President has ordered an inquiry into the investigation of the death of a high-profile lawyer last year while in custody.

37-year-old Sergey Magnitsky died in jail in autumn 2009 while awaiting trial for tax crimes. Magnitsky worked in the British investment firm Hermitage Capital Management and his death caused intense reaction both in Russia and abroad.

His supporters blame prison officials, who they claim denied him the medical attention he needed when he fell ill.

The international lawyers' association TAGLaw last month pleaded with Dmitry Medvedev to punish those responsible.

“On behalf of our worldwide organization, and with the unanimous support of our international Advisory Board, we write to express our shock and outrage at the role of Russian officials in the death of Sergey Magnitsky and the abject lack of adequate investigation into and imposition of sanctions against those responsible for Sergey’s death,” said TAGLaw president Robert U. Sattin and its chairman, Peter Appleton Jones, in their letter.

TAGlaw is one of the largest lawyer’s associations in the world, with its headquarters in the US. It comprises lawyers from more than 80 countries.