Sen. John McCain on Friday condemned the posthumous conviction of Sergei Magnitsky, an auditor who accused Russian tax officials of corruption and then died in custody in 2009, as a “shameful act” and evidence of the “systematic deterioration of the rule of law” under President Vladimir Putin.
“Putin’s government is using all resources at its disposal — the courts, the police, the legislature, and state-run media — to silence dissent and solidify a culture of fear and impunity,” the Arizona Republican said. “This culture of impunity in Russia is why Sergei Magnitsky is dead, why the Russian government hasn’t held anyone accountable for his murder, and why it is likely that it never will.”
Mr. McCain joins fellow lawmakers, such as Democratic Sen. Ben Cardin, in criticizing a Russian court’s decision this week to convict Magnitsky of tax evasion.
U.S. lawmakers passed a bill in the activist’s name that prevents certain Russian officials from entering the United States or using its banking system. President Obama signed the bill into law in December.
Russian officials were furious and retaliated with a string of measures, including blocking the adoption of Russian children by Americans.