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    COURT ACQUITS TRANSPLANT SPECIALISTS

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    MOSCOW, March 1 (RIA Novosti) - The Moscow City Court has acquitted the transplant specialists accused of illegal organ transplants in the 20th municipal hospital in Moscow.

    "The guilt of the accused has not been proved during the investigation," the sentence reads.

    The public prosecutor accused the doctors and members of the Transplant Center of murder preparations, but the court considered that "it was impossible to save Patient Orekhov." "The doctors were preparing for an organ transplant operation after the pronouncement of death," the sentence said.

    The court discarded as groundless the arguments that when the law enforcers arrived Patient Orekhov showed vital signs. The pre-trail investigation established that the doctors were going to remove Orekhov's kidneys after his death. Besides, the court rejected the argument that the doctors were premeditating murder, namely for mercenary reasons.

    "The court ruled that the persons involved shall be acquitted, and preventive punishment - a written undertaking not to leave a place - shall be cancelled," the sentence reads. The relatives of the accused welcomed the sentence with applause.

    After the pronouncement of the sentence, the judge reminded the audience that in accordance with the Code of Criminal Procedure the sentence could be appealed against within 10 days of the pronouncement. The judge also told the doctors that they had the right of vindication.

    During the hearing, the public prosecutor demanded 8.5 years in prison for the deputy head of the intensive care department of the 20th municipal hospital Irina Lirtsman, 8 years for a doctor of the department Lyubov Pravdenko, and 9 years for each of the two transplant specialists from the Moscow Coordinating Center of Organ Donors - Pyotr Pyatnichuk and Bairma Shakdurova.

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