British Prime Minister Gordon Brown has told members of the House of Lords that he is "deeply concerned" about the Nov. 16 death in prison of Russian lawyer Sergei Magnitsky and has called for a "full and transparent" investigation, raising the prospect of a new row between London and Moscow over the rule of law.
The Daily Telegraph reported that the British government was closely following the ongoing Russian fraud case involving Hermitage Capital Management, who Magnitsky was representing. He died after allegedly failing to receive medical treatment while in pre-trial detention.
Hermitage CEO Bill Browder said: "Gordon Brown has shown ... that people around the globe are deeply concerned about ... the deterioration of the rule of law in Russia."
In another possible row with Britain, Russian prosecutors have indicated they are seeking the extradition of former Yukos treasurer Andrei Leonovich in connection with the ongoing trial of jailed oligarch Mikhail Khodorkovsky, Kommersant reported in an article titled: "We ask and ask. But Britain doesn't give them up."
Leonovich fled to the UK in 2004 after Khodorkovsky's arrest.
Britain's refusal to extradite several Russian businessmen wanted by Russian prosecutors, including former Kremlin kingmaker Boris Berezovsky, has led to strained relations with London.