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You're reading: Russian prosecutors seek innocent verdict in Magnitsky’s death
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The surprise move in the trial of Dmitry Kratov came in the midst of a row between Moscow and Washington over U.S. legislation meant to punish Russians seen as linked to the death of Magnitsky and other alleged human rights violations.

If the court clears Kratov, a former deputy head of a jail where Magnitsky spent part of a year, it will fuel accusations by Kremlin critics that the Russian government has no intention of seeking justice in a case that has blackened Russia’s image.

“We have not determined what happened, and the biggest tragedy here is that … this may have been our last chance to ask questions” of people who may have been involved, said Dmitry Kharitonov, a lawyer for Magnitsky’s widow and family.

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