Exiled Fund Chief: U.S. Should Sanction Russians With ‘Magnitsky List’

Wall Street Journal

The U.S. should sanction Russian officials involved in the Ukraine military campaign by using a 2012 U.S. human-rights law named for a dead Russian whistleblower, according to one of his former colleagues.

The Magnitsky Act lets the U.S. freeze the accounts of Russian citizens placed on a list of suspected human-rights abusers and fine companies that do business with anyone on the list.

The law was named after Sergei Magnitsky, a tax lawyer for an international investment fund in Russia who earned the ire of Russian officials after he accused police and tax officials of stealing $230 million. His death in prison in 2009 at the age of 37, under suspicious circumstances, stirred an international uproar.

The Obama administration, which was seeking to “reset” relations with Moscow, initially opposed the law but signed it in December 2012 in conjunction with a measure giving Russia permanent normal trade relations after the country joined the World Trade Organization.

The U.S. administration put 18 Russians on the list last year, many with direct links to Mr. Magnitsky’s death, but hasn’t added any new names this year, disappointing Russia’s critics. The Kremlin responded to the law by preventing Americans from adopting Russian children.

On Monday, the founder of the fund that employed Mr. Magnitsky, Bill Browder, said the law he backed in the U.S. Congress could be used to put pressure on Russians linked to the military action in Ukraine.

“The Magnitsky act was designed specifically for these kinds of purposes—for gross human rights abuses and people misusing their power in Russia,” Mr. Browder said by telephone from London. “If somebody invades a country, I think that could easily fit into the Magnitsky Act.”

Mr. Browder, who has been barred from returning to Russia, didn’t comment on which Russians should be on the list but said it should include Russians “who have played a very documented role in the invasion of Ukraine.”

Mr. Magnitsky was convicted posthumously of tax evasion in 2013. Family members and human-rights advocates say he was beaten and denied medical treatment while held in pretrial detention, where he died in 2009. Russian officials said Mr. Magnitsky died of a combination of ailments that culminated in heart failure. займ на карту hairy girls https://zp-pdl.com/fast-and-easy-payday-loans-online.php https://www.zp-pdl.com онлайн займ

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