LONDON, July 9 (RIA Novosti ) – The UK Home Office has banned 60 Russian officials allegedly involved in the prison death of Russian lawyer Sergei Magnitsky in 2009 from entering the UK, the Daily Telegraph said.
The Home Office issued the bans after the US Commission on Security and Co-operation in Europe (US Helsinki Commission), led by Senator Benjamin Cardin, published the so-called Magnitsky List of the 60 officials in June last year, the paper reported on Monday.
According to the Daily Telegraph, the barring of the Russians was contained in a previously unreported parliamentary response in April to a written inquiry from the Conservative MP Dominic Raab.
Meanwhile, the Home Office declined to comment on the matter when asked by RIA Novosti on Monday.
The Daily Telegraph suggested that the move by the British government could prompt retaliation from Moscow as it happened after the United States adopted the Magnitsky Act last year. Russia quickly responded in part by banning US citizens from adopting Russian children.
Magnitsky, a lawyer with the Hermitage Capital fund, was arrested in 2008 on tax evasion charges after he exposed what he believed was a $230 million tax fraud carried out by Russian officials. He spent the next 12 months in pre-trial detention, during which he was denied treatment for pancreatitis and gall stones.
Russian President Vladimir Putin said in April that Magnitsky’s death was a “tragedy,” but insisted no crime had been committed.