No sooner had I finished my long post about the Magnitsky affair than the US government announced that it had imposed visa bans on around sixty Russian officials it alleges were involved in his death. The news article in the International Herald Tribune in which I read this announcement referred to Magnitsky as a “whistle blower”, which in effect says that the allegations he was making are true even though as I have said they have never been proved.
The announcement of the visa bans has provoked predictable protests in Russia. The Russian authorities have correctly pointed out that at a time when legal proceedings are ongoing and nothing has yet been decided such bans are not only premature but straightforward interference in the Russian court process. Of course the US government will pay no attention, just as European governments and parliaments pay no attention when they issue ringing declarations about the guilt or innocence of particular Russian citizens whose court cases are underway.