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Russian Prosecutor Assails Interpol For Refusing To Issue Browder Warrant

William Browder

The Russian Prosecutor-General's Office has objected to Interpol’s latest refusal to put British-American investor William Browder on an international wanted list, Russia’s state-run TASS news agency reports.

TASS reported on August 24 that the Russian Interior Ministry in June 2017 sent a so-called "red notice" to Interpol requesting it issue an arrest warrant “in connection with Browder's prosecution for conventional crimes.”

“Nevertheless, [Interpol] refused to put him on the wanted list, citing its previous decision,” the prosecutor’s office said, adding that it has made its “objections” known to Interpol.

The Council of Europe this year sharply criticized previous Russian attempts to seek Browder's arrest through Interpol, calling the efforts "abuses" of the system by states pursuing "political goals."

The investor was convicted in absentia in 2013 of tax evasion by a Moscow court and sentenced to nine years in prison.

Browder has repeatedly dismissed allegations against him as baseless and politically motivated, and Interpol has rejected several previous Russian requests for his arrest.

Browder, who founded Hermitage Capital, was Russia’s largest portfolio investor until he fled the country in 2005.

The Russian government has applied pressure on Browder in an international campaign challenging the U.S. Magnitsky Act, a 2012 law that introduced visa bans and asset freezes for Russians alleged to be involved in the death of whistle-blowing accountant Sergei Magnitsky.

Magnitsky, who worked for Browder, accused Russian law enforcement and tax officials of a massive tax scheme prior to his November 2009 death in a notorious Moscow jail. His family and friends say he was tortured, beaten, and denied critical medical treatment shortly before he died.

Based on reporting by The Telegraph and TASS