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Friday
May242013

Interpol rejects Russia warrant for Magnitsky boss

Interpol this week rejected Russia’s 'all points bulletin' for William Browder, who's leading a global campaign against those responsible for the torture and death of Russian whistleblower Sergei Magnitsky.

Browder's investment fund, London-based Hermitage Capital, said Friday that Interpol's decision to delete the Russian warrant is 'a clear sign that a deeply corrupt regime will not be allowed to freely persecute whistleblowers who have exposed it.'

The warrant within the Interpol system would have subjected Browder to arrest in most countries.

'Interpol’s General Secretariat has now deleted the request from the Russian authorities seeking to “locate” Mr Browder in order to detain him on a Russian arrest warrant,' the Hermitage release said.

Magnitsky, a Russian lawyer who worked for Browder, died in a Moscow jail in 2009. He had uncovered evidence of a $230 million tax fraud orchestrated by Russian officials after the illegal seizure of Hermitage's assets.

Russia has accused Browder of underpaying corporate taxes. It has also brought a posthumous criminal case against Magnitsky for tax fraud.

Last year, responding to Browder's campaign, the U.S. adopted the Magnitsky Act. It imposes visa sanctions and asset freezes on those responsible for Magnistsky's detention, abuse, or death, and those who benefited from the fraud he uncovered.

Browder has been campaigning this year across Europe for similar sanctions. He had postponed an appearance next week in Germany after Russia issued the warrant into the Interpol system. After Interpol deleted the warrant, Browder said he would travel to the scheduled event in Germany.

In April, the United States disclosed sanctions against 18 Russians under the Magnitsky Act.