The British government has secretly banned at least 60 Russian officials implicated in the death of whistleblower Sergei Magnitsky from entering the UK.
The move follows a similarly surreptitious decision by the American government in July, which in turn led to the Russian government creating a blacklist of US officials.
A lawyer for a British investment fund Hermitage Capital Management, Sergei Magnistky was arrested after he uncovered the biggest tax fraud in Russian history to the tune of £144 million.
Magnistky died in a hospital cell awaiting trial, and investigators say he was badly beaten and denied medical care for his injuries.
Politicians in the US and UK have called for thorough investigations into his death. So far, a Russian investigative committee has cited only two low level officials as responsible.
The total number of banned officials is not known, but the Home Office has introduced sanctions against an “unspecified number of individuals linked to Magnitsky’s death,” according to the Guardian.
The acknowledgement of the ban comes after logs from the Russian border service were leaked to the Observer showing that a number of individuals allegedly implicated in the case have been allowed entry into the UK, including two Russian detectives Magnitsky implicated in the fraud.
Individuals such as the “senior police officers that Magnitsky accused of facilitating the tax rebate scam that he unveiled– Artyom Kuznetsov and Pavel Karpov” entered the UK after Magnitsky accused them of raiding his firm’s office in June 2007 without a warrant, according to the Guardian, but the last recorded flight was in January of this year.