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STRASBOURG, October 23 (Itar-Tass) — Representatives of the major political groups in the European Parliament (EP) have called for the introduction of the so-called “Magnitsky list.” Parliamentary hearings were held in the highest legislative body of the European Union late on Monday on the eve of the final vote on the report “On sanctions against Russian officials involved the Magnitsky case.”
“Almost three years have passed since the death in prison of auditor of Hermitage Capital Management Sergei Magnitsky,” said the author of the resolution Estonian MEP Kristina Ojuland. “The perpetrators of this crime still occupy high positions in law enforcement agencies, freely travelling in the EU, as well as spending here dirty money, including buying expensive real estate.” She also referred to the recent adoption by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) of a summary report on the Russian Federation, which called on the Russian authorities “to effectively investigate the circumstances of the lawyer’s death.”
The EP Committee on Foreign Affairs on September 21 recommended to the EU Council to impose visa and economic sanctions against Russian officials involved in Magnitsky’s death. The authors of the recommendation were members of the Liberal faction of the European Parliament. The arrest, detention and death in custody of Sergei Magnitsky represent a well-documented and substantial case of disrespect for fundamental human rights, MEPs say, pointing to the stalled investigation of the case and the current climate of impunity in Russia, despite the findings of the Russian President’s Human Rights Council in 2011, according to the EP committee recommendation.
Sergei Magnitsky, 37, was held in custody for almost a year on charges of complicity in tax evasion. After his health sharply deteriorated, he was not given adequate medical care. The European Parliament first called for sanctions against those involved in the case in December 2010.