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Kremlin Orders Investigation After Jailed Lawyer's Death

Friends and relatives pay their last respects to lawyer Sergei Magnitsky at Preobrazhenskoye Cemetery in Moscow on November 20.
MOSCOW -- Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has asked the Prosecutor-General's Office and the Justice Ministry to help investigate lawyer Sergei Magnitsky's recent death in a detention center, RFE/RL's Russian Service reports.

The president's press service told journalists that Medvedev ordered the quality of the medical service in penitentiaries and detention centers to be checked.

Russian rights activists raised the issue of Magnitsky's death at a meeting with Medvedev on November 23.

They said Magnitsky, a lawyer for the British-based Hermitage Capital Investment Fund, died in custody on November 16 after allegedly not receiving medical care for his ailments.

Magnitsky, 37, was in Moscow's Butyrka prison awaiting trial on charges of tax fraud.