Interpol Stands Up to Putin


The international police organization Interpol on Friday rejected Russia’s request for help in arresting a hedge-fund chief who has accused the Russians of looting his fund.

William Browder, a London-based investor, has stubbornly railed against Russian corruption since the arrest and death in a Moscow prison of Sergei Magnitsky — a lawyer for Browder’s Hermitage Capital. Magnitsky exposed a $230 million tax fraud that seemed to involve Russian police, tax officials and organized criminals (see “Crime and Punishment in Putin’s Russia,” April 16, 2011). A Moscow criminal court issued a warrant for Browder’s arrest on April 27, and Interpol duly put out an “all points bulletin” asking its 190 member states to detain Browder for extradition to Russia.

But after deliberations at Interpol headquarters in Lyon, France, the police agency rejected Russia’s request as having a “predominant political character.”

“This will be very humiliating for Putin,” Browder told Barron’s. “His whole position on the Magnitsky case has been rejected by an independent international law enforcement body.”

As an organization designed to apprehend international criminal fugitives, Interpol’s constitution bars the agency from matters of “a political, military, religious or racial character.” But the 90-year-old organization rarely refuses requests like Russia’s. Browder says that only about 3% of requests to Interpol are reviewed for impropriety by the agency’s governing committee.

Browder successfully lobbied for the December 2012 passage of a U.S. law that bans travel and freezes assets of Russian officials involved in the Magnitsky affair. Russia retaliated with its own list of sanctioned U.S. officials, and also forbade the adoption of its orphans by Americans. Russian prosecutors launched a criminal case against Magnitsky, posthumously, and Browder, in absentia, charging them with improperly purchasing shares of the oil and gas giant Gazprom about a decade ago, in an investment that Hermitage made with no government objections at the time.

While the Interpol notice was outstanding, Browder had to put on hold his plans to attend a German conference on Magnitsky-related sanctions, because the German government would not guarantee his safe passage. Earlier this week, Germany’s justice minister reversed that ruling. Browder will continue his international human rights activities. buy over the counter medicines hairy woman https://zp-pdl.com/get-quick-online-payday-loan-now.php https://zp-pdl.com/online-payday-loans-cash-advances.php hairy woman

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