MOSCOW, November 16 (RAPSI) – Lithuanian Seimas has passed a bill on sanctions against persons, who are believed to be involved in the death of Hermitage Capital auditor Sergey Magnitsky on November 16, 2009, the resolution of the country’s parliament reads.
Lithuania is a fifth country to adopt an act related to Magnitsky’s case. Previously, similar documents were passed by the United States, Estonia, Canada and Great Britain.
According to the bill, foreigners, who are involved in major violations of human rights, corruption and embezzlement, are prohibited from entering Lithuania. These persons are also prohibited from acquiring and holding assets on the country’s territory, and all existing assets are to be frozen. The bill is to be implemented by ministers of internal and foreign affairs.
Authors of the bill have called for national parliaments of EU and NATO to pass similar legislation.
Magnitsky, an auditor at the London-based investment fund, was arrested on November 24, 2008, on suspicion of having masterminded large-scale corporate tax evasion. He died while in pretrial detention on November 16, 2009, after spending a year behind bars. The case was closed after his death, only to be reopened later. Under Russian law, a person can be prosecuted after death. Later, Magnitsky was found guilty of tax evasion.
Hermitage Capital maintains that it paid 5.4 billion rubles ($180 million) in taxes, but the money was stolen by corporate raiders with the help of law enforcement officials.
According to Russia’s Prosecutor General's Office, Magnitsky died of heart failure. His death evoked an international outcry, triggered amendments to the Criminal Code and a reshuffling of officials in the penal system.
On Dec. 6, 2012, the U.S. Senate approved the Magnitsky Act, to severe criticism from the Russian State Duma, stipulating visa and economic sanctions for Russians who are believed by the U.S. authorities to have been involved in human rights violations.
In October 2017, the Magnitsky Act came into force in Canada.