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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Investigator in Hot Water Over Prison Death

A Moscow region investigator faces negligence charges after businesswoman Vera Trifonova, 53, died in pretrial detention, the Investigative Committee said Tuesday.

A criminal investigation has been opened into Sergei Pysin, who worked on Trifonova’s case, the committee said in a statement. If charged, Pysin could be sentenced to up to five years in prison.

“Trifonova’s lawyer repeatedly appealed to the investigator asking to change her pretrial restrictions because of her worsening health condition,” the statement said.

Trifonova’s lawyer, Vladimir Zherebyonkov, has accused Pysin of keeping Trifonova — who was diabetic, nearly blind and suffered fr om kidney failure — in jail to force a confession.

Trifonova died Friday at the same prison hospital wh ere Sergei Magnitsky, 37, a lawyer for Hermitage Capital, died under similar circumstances in November.

President Dmitry Medvedev ordered Investigative Committee chief Alexander Bastrykin to investigate Trifonova’s death on Saturday. Trifonova died of heart failure after spending more than four months in custody on fraud charges.

Bastrykin on Tuesday fired the deputy head of the Moscow regional branch of the Investigative Committee, Alexander Filippov, and a department chief, Valery Ivarlak, in connection with the death.

Andrei Markov, head of the Moscow region committee branch, got off with a warning.