MOSCOW, September 13 (RIA Novosti)
A former Russian prison doctor charged with negligence in connection with the death of lawyer Sergei Magnitsky in 2009 pleaded not guilty on Thursday.
"The accusations against me are unfounded," Dmitry Kratov, the former deputy director of Moscow's Butyrka pre-trial detention facility, told a court hearing.
But he acknowledged that "the conditions in which I worked prevented me from fully carrying out my duties."
Magnitsky, who accused officials of a $230 million tax fraud, spent a year in Butyrka before his death. He died after "deliberate and inhumane neglect," the Kremlin's human rights body said in a report last year.
The high-profile death provoked an international outcry. The United States and Netherlands imposed travel bans on some 60 Russian officials over the Magnitsky case last year. Russia has responded in kind.
The U.S. Senate is currently mulling a bill named for Magnitsky that would penalize Russian officials for human rights abuses.
In April, prosecutors dropped the case against a second prison doctor facing charges, Larisa Litvinova.
Krotov's negligence trial has been suspended until October 2.
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If attempts to drag Russia into a direct military conflict in Ukraine are successful, it would be a catastrophe for Russia comparable to the 1979-1989 Afghan war. There is no direct evidence that the US is trying to bring about a second Afghan war, but indirect evidence abounds.