Russia to demand explanations over reports about UK's Magnitsky list

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Sept. 3, 2012, 10:02 a.m. | Russia and former Soviet Union — by Interfax-Ukraine

Hermitage Capital lawyer Magnitsky, who was charged with tax evasion, died in custody in Moscow on November 16, 2009.

Moscow/London - Russian Ambassador to the United Kingdom Alexander Yakovenko is going to ask the British Foreign Office to give a formal explanation over media reports about tighter control of entry to the UK for Russian officials from the Magnitsky list. 

"Ambassador Yakovenko is to ask the Foreign Office on Monday to give formal explanations over the September 2, 2012 article in the Sunday Times newspaper, alleging that entry restrictions have been introduced in relation to the so-called Magnitsky list," the Russian embassy told Interfax by telephone on Sunday.

More detailed comments on this matter could follow on Monday, the embassy official said.

Earlier on Sunday Conservative MP Dominic Raab told the BBC Russian Service that UK Immigration Minister Damian Green sent to the British Embassy in Moscow a list of 60 officials who, according to the British authorities, are involved in the death of Hermitage Capital lawyer Sergei Magnitsky. Earlier similar reports emerged citing The Sunday Times.

In interview with the BBC, Raab said that the listed officials will not be necessarily denied a UK visa.

The names on the list were not disclosed but the list includes the individuals who were denied entry to the United States as a result of an information campaign by Senator Ben Cardin, Raab said.

Hermitage Capital lawyer Magnitsky, who was charged with tax evasion, died in custody in Moscow on November 16, 2009. The official cause of his death is a heart failure. Magnitsky's defense lawyers said that he had repeatedly complained about his health condition and asked for a medical examination. The lawyer's death prompted a broad outcry. Human rights activists blamed doctors and security officials for his death. 

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