"Magnitsky list" move postponed

Hopes that Latvia's parliament, the Saeima, would on February 1 take the first move towards the introduction of a "Magnitsky list" similar to those already operating in the U.S., U.K., and elsewhere were scuttled at the last minute, with consideration of legislative proposals now likely to be postponed for a week.

The decision was made by parliamentarians following the objections of two deputies: Valdis Kalnozols (Union of Greens and Farmers) and Gunārs Kūtris (For Latvia From The Heart). Subsequently, the deputies voted in favor of moving the "Magnitsky list" to the next sitting, on February 8.

Rihards Kols (National Alliance), the MP who had been driving the legislative move forward, expressed dismay at the unexpected delay but said he was confident delaying tactics would not work, saying "next week there will be no choice - everyone will have to express where they stand on this issue."

Latvia is the only one of the Baltic States that has not adopted the so-called Magnitsky law, which prohibits entry to foreigners involved in large-scale corruption, money laundering or human rights violations.

The law is named after attorney Sergey Magnitsky, who was murdered in police custody in Russia after exposing a massive criminal fraud involving state officials.




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