Seimas one ballot short of passing Magnitsky Act

Sergey Magnitsky grave
Foto: AP / Scanpix

Lithuania's parliament has merely one ballot left until adoption of the so-called Magnitsky Act, which would ban entry to foreigners involved in large-scale corruption, money laundering or human rights violations.

On Tuesday, the parliament approved for discussion relevant amendments to the law, with 78 votes in support, one against and five abstentions. The parliament should now hold a ballot to adopt the law.

Conservatives' leader Gabrielius Landsbergis, one of the initiators of the law, said Lithuania could become the 4 th country worldwide to adopt the act. The Magnitsky Act has been adopted by the United States, Estonia and Canada.

Under the draft law, a foreigner would be banned from coming to Lithuania for up to five years if there are serious grounds to believe that he or she has committed a serious or very serious crime against a person in a foreign country and human rights and freedoms have been violated as a result of this, has committed a corruption offense or has been involved money laundering, or is on the national list of foreigners denied entry to a EU, EFTA and NATO member state.

A decision on banning entry to such a foreigner would be made by the interior minister at the foreign minister's proposal.

The United States in 2012 passed the so-called Magnitsky Act that imposed sanctions on a list of Russian officials believed to be responsible for human rights violations, banning visas for them and freezing their assets. Currently, there are over 40 names on the list.

Instead of investigating the criminal scheme disclosed by Magnitsky, Russian prosecutors brought falsified charges against him. The lawyer was arrested and died in prison in 2009.

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Source: BNS
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