Russia’s preoccupation with obtaining a Red Notice against William Browder continues. I first addressed this issue here. For those who haven’t followed the case, William Browder is the chief executive officer and co-founder of the investment fund Hermitage Capital Management, and a noted critic of Vladimir Putin. When his attorney, Sergei Magnitsky, allegedly uncovered and reported a massive tax refund fraud in Russia, Magnitsky was detained and charged with what Browder and others consider to be retaliatory charges. Magnitsky died while he was detained.
Russian authorities initially circulated a diffusion in Browder’s name, and later sought his location and arrest through INTERPOL’s channels, presumably in the form of a Red Notice.
In May of last year, INTERPOL took the fairly unusual step of issuing a public statement regarding its decision on the diffusion in the Browder case. It considered the case to be predominantly political in nature.
Russia later made a second request for INTERPOL’s assistance in locating and arresting Mr. Browder based on new charges. In response, INTERPOL issued a second statement which characterized the “new” charges of “qualified swindling” against Mr. Browder as being covered by its previous decision. Interestingly enough, INTERPOL’s statement led with the caption:
INTERPOL cannot be used by the Russian Federation to seek the arrest of Mr William Browder
Despite that decision, Russia has now requested for the third time that INTERPOL become involved in the Browder case. The Prosecutor General of the Russian Federation issued a statement on June 19, 2014, asserting that the Commission for the Control of INTERPOL’s files agreed to reconsider the question of the international search for Browder. Whether that statement is valid remains to be seen.
As always, thoughts and comments are welcomed.