BRUSSELS, October 25 (Itar-Tass) — Russian ambassador to the European Union Vladimir Chizhov said he was confident that the Council of the European Union “would be wise enough to ignore the recommendations of the European Parliament to impose visa sanctions against Russia over the Magnitsky case.”
The document calls “to establish a common EU list of officials responsible for the death of Sergei Magnitsky, for the subsequent judicial cover-up and for the ongoing and sustained harassment of his mother and widow; and to impose and implement an EU-wide visa ban on these officials and to freeze any financial assets they or their immediate family may hold inside the European Union.” The European Parliament’s resolution has a nature of recommendations and needs the approval of all the 27 member countries of the European Union to be implemented in practice.
According to Chizhov, the resolution is “extremely politically motivated.” “I don’t know whether it is a striving to earn a political capital on a tragedy or a petty judicial illiteracy,” he told journalists on Wednesday.
“Everything is lumped together there. Right from the very term “Magnitsky case” in the singular. As a matter of fact there are two criminal cases. One litigation is what he was sentenced for – a case against a company of the British fund Hermitage Capital Management, where Sergei Magnitsky was an auditor (not a lawyer, as the European Parliament maintains). The defendant in this case is his employer, Mr Browder, who is apparently spending his money, including earned illegally, which was proved by investigators, to promote the whole campaign,” the Russian diplomat said. In his words, this case has “facts that can hardly be fitted into the notion of our common values with the European Union,” such as sham employment of people with disabilities to obtain tax privileges for Mr Browder.
“Actually, it is the other case that concerns this tragedy. It is obvious that the death of a person kept in custody is always a disaster and this is the way it is taken by the Russian authorities. There are two suspects in that case – a deputy chief of the detention centre and a doctor. The case against the doctor was closed after the time of limitations expired but the case against the deputy chief who was responsible for confinement conditions is still underway,” he added.