US criticizes Russian justice on lawyer death anniversary

13th November 2015, Comments 0 comments

The United States lamented Russia's failure Friday to punish those responsible for the death of lawyer Sergei Magnitsky, on the sixth anniversary of his murky demise in a Moscow jail.

Magnitsky died aged 37 after trying to expose the alleged embezzlement from investment fund Hermitage Capital of $230 million by figures linked to Russian political circles.

He was arrested in 2008 and died in prison in 2009 of an untreated illness that Russia's own presidential human rights council said was "provoked by beating."

The wider Hermitage case is now a notorious international scandal, but six years later no-one in Russia has been held to account for Magnitsky's death.

"The anniversary of Sergei Magnitsky's death is a reminder of the human cost of injustice," US State Department deputy spokesman Mark Toner said.

"Those responsible for his unjust imprisonment and wrongful death remain free, despite widely publicized and credible evidence of their guilt," he said.

"We salute Sergei Magnitsky's memory and those who work to uncover corruption and promote human rights in Russia, despite official intimidation and harassment.

"We will continue to fully support the efforts of those who seek to bring these individuals to justice, including through implementation of the Sergei Magnitsky Rule of Law Accountability Act of 2012."

The Magnitsky Act targets named Russian individuals accused of a role in the Hermitage scandal, prohibiting them from traveling to the United States or using US banks.


© 2015 AFP

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