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EU Parliament To Consider Sanctions Against Magnitsky Case Officials

The 37-year-old lawyer Sergei Magnitsky died in November 2009, after a year of pretrial detention.
MOSCOW -- A European Parliament committee has unanimously approved a motion for sanctions to be imposed upon Russian officials deemed to be responsible for the prison death of lawyer Sergei Magnitsky, RFE/RL's Russian Service reports.

The parliament's International Affairs Committee on November 23 proposed sanctions that entail a ban on travel to the European Union and the seizure of property abroad for anyone considered by Magnitsky's former colleagues to be connected with his death.

Magnitsky, an attorney for the investment firm Hermitage Capital, died one year ago in pretrial detention. According to officials he died as a result of heart failure.

Human rights activists and his former colleagues say he died because he was refused access to medical care.

European Parliament President Jerzy Buzek told RFE/RL that he and his colleagues believe Magnitsky was fighting corruption in Russia and paid a price for that. He said Magnitsky's death should be thoroughly investigated and anyone responsible for his death should face trial.

The motion for sanctions on Russian officials is scheduled to be discussed at the European Parliament's general session next month.

Read more in Russian here.