Official denies role in Russian jail death

The official who was in charge of investigating Sergei Magnitsky for alleged tax evasion denied yesterday that he had played any role in the ailing lawyer's death in prison.

Oleg Silchenko, a senior investigator at the Russian Interior Ministry, made his first public appearance at a news conference.

Magnitsky was imprisoned in 2008 and died of untreated pancreatitis in 2009. His family blame Mr Silchenko, saying he was denied treatment.

Mr Silchenko said he had rejected requests to put Magnitsky under house arrest because he believed he could have been dangerous and was at risk of fleeing.

Magnitsky had claimed the charges against him were fabricated in revenge for his whistleblowing against police corruption.