WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — The spokesperson noted that Washington hopes to never issue another Magnitsky designation because human rights in Russia have improved.
"Two of the others, [Oleg] Urzhumtsev and [Boris] Kibis were involved with the posthumous prosecution of Magnitsky," the official said on Monday. "You may remember that Sergei Magnitsky was put on trial after he was dead. In this case, a bizarre episode."
The US also sanctioned Aleksey Anichin and Pavel Lapshov, former Russian interior ministry officials, for their direct involvement in the investigation and charges against Magnitsky.
The fifth individual added to the list, Yevgeni Antono, was not involved with the Magnitsky case, but was designated because of human rights abuses that allegedly took place at a prison he ran in Chechnya.
The Magnitsky Act allows the Treasury Department to apply sanctions on Russian officials believed to be responsible for the death of Sergei Magnitsky in pre-trial detention.
On Monday, the State Department submitted to the US Congress the third annual report on the government’s actions to implement the Magnitsky Act. The document includes the list of 39 individuals who have been sanctioned to date.
Sergei Magnitsky, a Moscow lawyer and legal consultant for the London-based Hermitage Capital Management investment fund, was detained in 2008 on suspicion of involvement in a tax evasion scheme.
Less than a year later, Magnitsky died of heart failure while still in custody. An official investigation closed the case, citing lack of criminal evidence.
Moreover, Russia responded to the Magnitsky Act by issuing its own blacklist, which includes US officials linked to human rights violations, including construction and maintenance of the Guantanamo Bay detention camp.