MOSCOW, April 15 (RIA Novosti) – Those who investigated the death in a Moscow jail of Russian lawyer Sergei Magnitsky were competent, Russian President Vladimir Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Sunday.
“The investigation has been completed, and we have no grounds to doubt the competence of those who led that probe,” Peskov told the Sunday Night program on the Rossiya-1 TV channel.
Magnitsky, who worked for UK-based equity fund Hermitage Capital, was arrested in 2008 on charges of tax evasion shortly after he accused Russian officials of involvement in a $230 million fraud.
He died in a pre-trial detention center in 2009. Many rights groups say the death was the result of physical abuse and failure to provide medical treatment.
In March 2013, the Russian Investigative Committee dropped its investigation into Magnitsky’s death, saying it determined no crime had taken place.
The United States published its list of Russian officials facing visa and financial sanctions under the Magnitsky Act on Friday. The act had been signed into law by US President Barack Obama in December 2012 and is ostensibly designed to punish officials Washington believes to be connected to Magnitsky’s death. The scope of the legislation was later broadened to cover a whole range of suspected rights abusers.
Russia published on Saturday its own list of US officials banned from Russia for alleged human rights abuses in response to the US list. Both lists comprise 18 names each.