Editorial: Britain should pass its own Magnitsky Act

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The Independent Online

That two former foreign secretaries – from different ends of the political spectrum – have added their voices to calls for a British version of Washington's "Magnitsky Act" is to be warmly welcomed.

The US legislation which was passed by the Senate tonight is named after Sergei Magnitsky, a Moscow lawyer who died in prison after blowing the whistle on a vast tax scam perpetrated by corrupt officials. The law will impose sanctions on a list of Russians linked to corruption and human rights abuses, forbidding them entry and banning any US investments.

With London such a popular destination for Russia's wealthy, the case for Britain to take an equally tough approach has long been strong. After the suspicious death of Alexander Perepilichnyy – who was helping to unravel a money-laundering scheme linked to the Magnitsky fraud – in Surrey last month, it is wholly compelling.