Posts Tagged ‘Jeff Dyer’

June 2012

‘Magnitsky law’ makes progress in Senate

The Financial Times

By Catherine Belton in Moscow and Geoff Dyer in Washington

A US Senate committee has approved a bill named after Russian anti-corruption lawyer Sergei Magnitsky that would impose sanctions on human rights abusers as new evidence emerged concerning the events leading up to Mr Magnitsky’s death.

On Tuesday the Senate foreign relations committee approved the “Magnitsky Law”, which has also passed a committee in the House of Representatives and which imposes restrictions on the financial activities and travel of Russian officials allegedly involved in the case.

The vote was held as friends and former colleagues of Mr Magnitsky released evidence that showed those accused by the lawyer of taking part in a lucrative tax rebate fraud had flown on numerous trips abroad with the owner of the bank that received the funds.

Mr Magnitsky died in a pre-trial detention centre in November 2009, more than a year after he alleged that a circle of interior and tax ministry officials had conspired to defraud the Russian budget through a $230m tax fraud scam.

The federal prison service has assumed partial responsibility for his death, accepting he was denied medical attention, while a government human rights council concluded that he was probably beaten to death while in custody on separate tax fraud charges.

His case has become a big irritant for the Obama administration’s efforts to “reset” relations with Russia and Moscow has threatened retaliation if the Magnitsky bill becomes law.

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