British Jewish businessman who challenged Putin is put on Interpol wanted list

Bill Browder says Russia used "loophole" to "get warrant for me"


A prominent Jewish human rights campaigner and businessman has been placed on the Interpol wanted list in a move apparently sanctioned by Russia President Vladimir Putin.

William Browder – who has led an international campaign over the alleged unlawful killing of jailed Moscow lawyer Sergei Magnitsky in 2009 - says he was alerted to the Russian move by an email from the US Department of Homeland Security, stating his “global entry status” had been revoked. 

It has emerged that Russia had placed the US-born British citizen on Interpol’s list, exploiting a loophole that allows countries to unilaterally place individuals on its database used to request an arrest.

In a message on Twitter on Monday, Mr Browder said: “Russia used loophole called a diffusion notice to bypass Interpol HQ to get warrant for me after 4 prior rejections.”

Asked by one of his Twitter followers if his American visa had been revoked he replied: “Yes it happened on the same day as the Russians issued their 5th Interpol arrest warrant for me.”

Mr Browder, chief executive of a British-based investment fund, Hermitage Capital Management, had previously accused President Putin’s allies of making “credible threats” against him in a 2014 US court hearing.

He led the push for countries to adopt “Magnitsky Act”-type laws that empower governments to freeze assets of Russian figures linked to human rights violations.

Mr Browder now lives in London and married his first wife in Marble Arch Synagogue.

In an interview with the JC in November 2015 he said President Putin was “no friend” of the Jews.

Last year, the Council of Europe openly criticised Russia’s efforts to arrest Browder through Interpol calling them “abuses” of the system.

Mr Browder began his campaign against the Kremlin after his accountant, Sergei Magnitsky, uncovered a £140 million scam by Russian tax officials. He was jailed and died in prison in 2009 after claims of torture.

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