MOSCOW, August 30 (RAPSI) - The Russian Prosecutor General's Office has issued a formal apology to Dmitry Kratov, former deputy head of Butyrka Pretrial Detention Center, for his prosecution, lawyer Roman Kuchin told RAPSI.

Kratov was earlier a defendant in the case over the death of Sergei Magnitsky, an auditor of London-based Hermitage Capital investment fund.

According to investigators, Magnitsky and his accomplices stole hundreds of millions of rubles from the state budget by manipulating tax returns between September and October 2007.

In turn, Hermitage Capital maintained that it had paid 5.4 billion rubles ($162.76 million) in taxes, but the money was stolen by corporate raiders with the help of law enforcement officials. 

On November 24, 2008, Magnitsky was arrested on suspicion of masterminding large-scale corporate tax evasion. He died in a Moscow pretrial detention center on November 16, 2009 after having spent a year behind bars. According to the Prosecutor General's Office, his death was caused by heart failure.

The case was closed after his death, only to be reopened later. Under Russian law, a person can be prosecuted after their death. On July 11, the Tverskoy District Court in Moscow convicted the late British Hermitage Capital Fund auditor of tax evasion.

Kratov has been accused of negligence resulting in Magnitsky's death.

On December 28, 2012, the Tverskoy District Court of Moscow acquitted the former pretrial detention center official as no link was established between the actions of Kratov and Magnitsky's death.

The Prosecutor General's Office apologized to him under the authority of the state, Kuchin said.