Visas and dirty money

The Economist

SERGEI MAGNITSKY was a Russian lawyer who uncovered a $230m fraud perpetrated by officials against taxpayers, and paid with his life. Since his death in prison in 2009 (he was denied medical treatment as part of an attempt to make him switch sides), campaigners, including his client, the American-born British investor Bill Browder, have been trying to get Western governments to withhold visas from the 60-odd officials involved in the fraud and his persecution.

In Britain, the former Europe minister Denis MacShane has pursued this issue hard, most recently in a debate on January 11th in which he named many of the officials concerned (something that libel-shy British media have so far been reluctant to do). Now the ball is getting another hefty kick thanks to Dominic Raab, the MP for Esher & Walton. With the support of his backbench Tory colleagues, he has instigated a “Backbench Business Debate” on the Magnitsky list on March 7. The motion is as follows:

That this House notes the passage of the Sergei Magnitsky Rule of Law Accountability Bill through the United States Senate, the Bill to condemn corruption and impunity in Russia in the case and death of Sergei Magnitsky in the House of Commons in Canada, the approval of the resolution of the Dutch Parliament concerning Sergei Magnitsky dated 29 June 2011, and paragraphs I and 20 to 21 of the resolution of the European Parliament of 14 December 2011 on the EU-Russia Summit; and calls on the Government to bring forward equivalent legislative proposals providing for a presumption in favour of asset freezes and travel bans for officials of the Russian state and other countries, wherever the appropriate UK authorities have collected or received evidence that establishes that such officials:

(a) were involved in the detention, physical abuse or death of Sergei Magnitsky,
(b) participated in efforts to conceal the legal liability for the detention, abuse or death of Sergei Magnitsky,
(c) committed the frauds discovered by Sergei Magnitsky, or
(d) are responsible for extrajudicial killings, torture or other gross violations of human rights committed in Russia or any other country against any individual seeking to obtain, exercise, defend or promote basic and internationally recognised human rights, including those set out in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights 1966.

It is backed by five former ministers (Mr MacShane David Miliband, Jack Straw, Sir Malcolm Rifkind and David Davis) plus a bunch of prominent MPs from all main parties.

None of this guarantees that the government will do anything. It is worried that Russia would retaliate in the event of a visa ban, by making difficulties for British businessmen in Russia. One person that wouldn’t inconvenience, of course, is Mr Browder, who has been banned from entering Russia in 2005. hairy girl займы на карту срочно https://zp-pdl.com https://zp-pdl.com/emergency-payday-loans.php займы на карту без отказа

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