Hermitage Seeks EU Ban For Russian Officials In Lawyer’s Death

Jul 19 2010 | 11:34am ET

Hermitage Capital Management founder William Browder is banned from Russia. He’d like the same treatment to be extended to 60 Russian officials he calls responsible for the death in prison of Sergei Magnitsky, a lawyer for his hedge fund.

Browder met with members of the European Parliament last week to discuss imposing “visa sanctions” on the Russian officials, The Sunday Express reports. Magnitsky died in one of Moscow’s most notorious prisons in November, with human rights activists claiming the 37-year-old was tortured and denied adequate medical care.

Magnitsky had been arrested after he accused Russian Interior Ministry officials of defrauding Hermitage and the Russian treasury of US$230 million. Russia, in turn, accused Broweder and Hermitage of a US$16.9 million tax evasion, the crime for which Magnitsky was arrested.

Russian officials, including President Dmitri Medvedev, have expressed remorse over Magnitsky’s death. But an investigative committee earlier this month chose not to file criminal charges against the investigators who pushed for Magnitsky to remain jailed.

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