Democrat John Kerry says a U.S. Senate committee may take up a bill imposing sanctions on Russian officials involved in the 2009 prison death of lawyer Sergei Magnitsky.
Kerry, who heads the Foreign Relations Committee, said Tuesday he would like to put it on the agenda when the Senate returns from Spring recess next month.
Senator Ben Cardin, another Democrat, proposed the Sergei Magnitsky bill last year. But the lawmakers have taken no action on it, in part because of the Obama administration’s lukewarm reaction.
The bill would deny visas and freeze the American assets of Russian officials linked to Magnitsky’s arrest and death.
The lawyer worked for the investment firm Hermitage Capital. He was jailed after accusing Hermitage officials and Russian interior ministry officials of fraud.
Russian human-rights activists say he was likely beaten to death while in prison.
U.S. Ambassador to Russia, Michael McFaul, calls a new sanctions bill uncessary, saying Russian officials involved in the Magnitsky case are already under U.S. sanctions.