Russia Puts Browder on Interpol Wanted List, Blocking TravelBy
U.S. Homeland Security alerted Browder to revoked visa
Browder can’t travel until Interpol overturns Russia request
Hermitage Capital Management founder William Browder said Russia put him on Interpol’s wanted list last week, its latest move to undermine the American-born fund manager’s global campaign against Russia over the death of his legal and tax adviser Sergei Magnitsky.
Browder, a British citizen since giving up his U.S. citizenship in 1998, said he’d received an email from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security notifying him his “global entry status” had been removed. He also found out his visa waiver for the U.S. had been revoked after Russia added him to the Interpol list using a loophole known as a “diffusion notice,” which allows countries to issue arrest warrants unilaterally without vetting from the organization. Interpol rejected four previous Russian attempts to put Browder on its wanted list.
“I hope it will be overturned,” Browder said. “Russia is abusing Interpol consistently for political purposes.” He said he can’t leave the U.K. until the issue is resolved.
Interpol didn’t immediately respond to an emailed request for comment. A spokesman for Russia’s Prosecutor General couldn’t immediately be reached. The agency in August said it would continue to seek to have Browder put on the Interpol list as he’s been convicted in absentia in Russia of tax evasion and sentenced to nine years in prison.
Browder scored a victory in his campaign against Russia last week when Canada became the latest country to pass a “Magnitsky Act,” which imposes travel bans and asset freezes against individuals believed to be involved in human rights abuses in Russia. On Thursday, Russian President Vladimir Putin lashed out at Browder and Canada’s passage of its Magnitsky Act.
“These are all not-very-constructive political games,” Putin said at the annual Valdai Club meeting. “What lies underneath these events? Underneath are the criminal activities of an entire gang led by one particular man, I believe Browder is his name.”
Ever since Magnitsky died in prison in 2009, Browder has led a campaign to persuade countries around the world to adopt sanctions on a list of Russian officials believed to be responsible. In 2012, the U.S. passed the first Magnitsky Act, followed by the U.K., Estonia and now Canada.
In addition to the earlier conviction, Russia is trying Browder now for more charges of fraud and tax evasion.
Russian prosecutors also suspect that Browder himself arranged Magnitsky’s death in a Russian jail, colluding with an agent of MI6, Britain’s foreign intelligence agency, to prevent him from getting medical care in prison, according to a Russian government document from 2016.
Browder dismissed the latest allegations as “absurd.”
— With assistance by Stepan Kravchenko