A Moscow court has acquitted for a second time four doctors charged with preparing to kill a critically ill patient to obtain organs for transplant, Russian news agencies reported Wednesday. The ruling by the Moscow City Court came about six months after the Supreme Court agreed with prosecutors and overturned the doctors' initial acquittal.
Russian news agencies said the city court ruled that the doctors were innocent "for the absence of evidence of a crime."
Neither court officials nor prosecutors could be immediately reached for comment.
The charges stemmed from the death of a 51-year-old man who was brought to a Moscow hospital in April 2003 with a severe head injury. Police later found him lying outside the intensive care ward with doctors having prepared for the removal of his kidneys, even though he still had a heartbeat and a pulse, Russian media said.
Defense lawyers have said repeatedly that the doctors did nothing wrong, the AP reports.
Prosecutor Alexander Remizov was quoted as saying by Interfax that he had not yet decided whether to appeal the ruling.
Putin's Annual Address to the Federal Assembly is scheduled for September 30. Kremlin sources say it will become even more historic and globally important than his 2014 speech