Russia Files Interpol Notice Against Hermitage's Browder

Oct 23 2017 | 5:43pm ET

Hermitage Capital’s William Browder has been unilaterally placed on Interpol’s wanted list by Russia, the latest twist in the hedge fund manager’s long-running battle with the Kremlin over the death of former Hermitage executive Sergei Magnitsky.

Magnitsky, a lawyer who worked for Hermitage in Moscow, accused a number of Russian officials of a tax-fraud scheme before he died in a Moscow jail in 2009. Since his death, Browder has led a worldwide campaign to levy sanctions against those believed to be responsible for human rights abuses. The U.S. passed the Magnitsky Act, followed by similar legislation in Britain, Estonia and Canada. 

The step came just one day before Canada’s version of the Magnitsky Act became law. It is the fifth time Russia has placed Browder, one its is fiercest critics, on the Interpol list, with the prior four attempts rejected by the global law enforcement organization. 

For its part, Russia convicted Browder in absentia of tax fraud in 2013. The latest Interpol move means Browder cannot leave the U.K., where he lives, and would be arrested at any border crossing. A British citizen since renouncing his U.S. passport in 1998, his visa to enter the U.S. has also been removed, according to a Bloomberg article. However, on Monday, the Trump Administration said Browder remained free to travel to the U.S.

Browder was once the largest foreign portfolio investor in Russia, according to a New York Times article over the weekend. He founded Guernsey-based Hermitage Capital Management in 1996 with Edmund Safra.

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