September 06, 2012 22:18
Alexeyeva doubts authorities' determination to thoroughly probe Magnitsky's death
MOSCOW. Sept 6 (Interfax) - The head of the Moscow Helsinki Group, Russia's oldest independent human rights watchdog, doubts that the authorities are really determined to dot all "i"s and cross all "t"s in the case of lawyer Sergei Magnitsky and punish those responsible for his death.
On Thursday, President Vladimir Putin said in an interview with the Russia Today television that Magnitsky's death was a "tragedy" that should be thoroughly probed. "If someone is to blame, that someone should be punished," he said.
"This statement neither comforted nor disappointed me," Lyudmila Alexeyeva, a veteran rights campaigner, told Interfax. "These are just words. What is needed is action. And no real action has been taken to investigate Magnitsky's case".
"If the president's words change anything and if I see that those who arrested Magnitsky after he made a statement about the embezzlement of budget funds and those who created torture-like conditions for him are themselves under investigation, then I will trust him," she said.
Putin, who denied that Magnitsky's case was politically charged, said that the authorities intended to get to its bottom and that prosecutors were currently working on it.
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