An alliance with representatives in the German Bundestag has approved a party resolution calling on the parliament to vote in favor imposing travel bans and freezing the assets of Russian officials involved in the death of lawyer Sergei Magnitisky, the Hermitage Capital said in a statement on Monday.
The British based investment fund who Magnitisky was representing when he was imprisoned said that the members from the German Alliance '90/The Greens party have proposed the Bundestag impose an asset freeze and ban travel for Russian officials allegedly implicated in his death in a Moscow pre-trial detention center in 2009.
Hermitage Capital’s statement said that the party’s members called for a further investigation into the death of the lawyer and that if Russia failed to cooperate, it would be “necessary to take measures on banning access and freezing European, including German, assets of the people involved in the crime.”
The Bundestag move comes a week after the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee unanimously approved the Sergei Magnitsky Rule of Law Accountability Act that seeks to impose visa bans and asset freezes on Russian officials allegedly involved in Magnitsky’s death, as well as in other human rights abuses in Russia.
On May 29, Italy also voiced plans to ban entry for the officials from the Magnitsky List.
Magnitsky, a lawyer for Firestone Duncan, was working for the London-based Hermitage Capital investment fund when he was arrested in 2008 as part of an embezzlement and tax evasion investigation. The auditor died after almost a year in custody. His death triggered an international outcry.
Hermitage Capital co-founder, U.S.-born William Browder, a British citizen who was once one of the most successful Western portfolio investors in Moscow, had been accused by Russian authorities of underpaying more than two billion rubles ($72 million) in back taxes and banned from entering Russia on national security grounds in 2006. He was subsequently tried in absentia on tax evasion charges.
The Russian Interior Ministry said on Monday that it would try to bring Browder, who is residing in Britain, to court.
However the Interior Ministry said that British investigators refused to cooperate with Moscow as “it will likely to damage sovereignty, security, public order and other significant British interests,” the Interior Ministry’s investigative department said in a statement on Monday.