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Russian Prison Officials Sacked In Connection With Lawyer's Death

Moscow's Butyrka prison

Moscow's Butyrka prison

MOSCOW -- Russian President Dmitry Medvedev sacked several top prison officials today in response to an investigation into the death of an imprisoned Russian lawyer, RFE/RL's Russian Service reports.

Sergei Magnitsky, a 37-year-old lawyer for London-based Hermitage Capital Management, died on November 16 in Moscow's Butyrka jail from what officials say was heart failure.

His relatives and colleagues say the inability of prison authorities to provide Magnitsky with timely medical care led to his death.

According to Medvedev's order, the chiefs of the Federal Correction Service (FSIN) departments in Moscow, St. Petersburg, Leningrad Oblast, and Moscow Oblast were sacked. The head of the FSIN's Department for Detention Centers and Prisons was also dismissed.

Earlier today, the FSIN announced that the Butyrka detention center chief had been demoted. Several officials in FSIN's medical department were disciplined, as well.

An additional investigation has also been launched into the case.