Russia Ignores Interpol’s Ruling and Re-Applies to Interpol for a Red Notice for William Browder to Block Magnitsky Justice Campaign

June 5, 2013

Today, Russ­ian author­i­ties have announced they are re-applying to Inter­pol to seek a Red Notice to arrest William Brow­der in spite of the Interpol’s ear­lier deci­sion reject­ing Russ­ian requests for him as ille­git­i­mate and polit­i­cally moti­vated.

“The Russ­ian author­i­ties can’t seem to be able to take a hint, — said a Her­mitage Cap­i­tal rep­re­sen­ta­tive. –  Offi­cials in the Russ­ian Inte­rior Min­istry are appar­ently more afraid of los­ing their jobs if they don’t act on Putin’s polit­i­cal order to per­se­cute Mr Brow­der, than they are of los­ing any remain­ing cred­i­bil­ity Rus­sia has with inter­na­tional bodies.”

On 24 May 2013, Interpol’s Com­mis­sion for the Con­trol of Files, an inde­pen­dent body respon­si­ble for com­pli­ance with Interpol’s Con­sti­tu­tion, con­sid­ered Russ­ian pro­ceed­ings against William Brow­der and ruled that they were of “pre­dom­i­nantly polit­i­cal nature.” The Inter­pol Com­mis­sion rec­om­mended that all infor­ma­tion in rela­tion to Mr Brow­der should be deleted from Inter­pol sys­tems (http://www.interpol.int/News-and-media/News-media-releases/2013/PR063).
On the same day, Interpol’s Gen­eral Sec­re­tariat deleted all infor­ma­tion in rela­tion to Mr Brow­der and informed all mem­ber coun­tries about its actions, and also made the infor­ma­tion pub­lic (http://www.interpol.int/News-and-media/News-media-releases/2013/N20130528).

The Russ­ian author­i­ties, nev­er­the­less, demon­strated com­plete defi­ance over Interpol’s deci­sions and rules.

On 25 May 2013, the day fol­low­ing the Interpol’s deci­sion, the Russ­ian Inte­rior Min­istry pub­licly stated that they will con­tinue to seek Mr Browder’s arrest via Inter­pol upon com­plet­ing var­i­ous for­mal­i­ties with the Russ­ian Prosecutor’s Office (http://ria.ru/incidents/20130525/939429919.html).
Today, it was announced that the Russ­ian law enforce­ment author­i­ties are going to Inter­pol again to request his arrest fol­low­ing the Russ­ian Moscow City Court’s rejec­tion of the appeal from Mr Browder’s lawyer who sought to recog­nise the in absen­tia arrest as unlaw­ful and unjus­ti­fied and breach­ing numer­ous legal pro­vi­sions. (http://www.rapsinews.ru/moscourts_news/20130605/267674181.html). The Moscow court’s deci­sion came a day after Alexan­der Bas­trykin, head of the Russ­ian Inves­tiga­tive Com­mit­tee and Russia’s most senior law enforce­ment offi­cial, pub­licly stated his “sol­i­dar­ity” with the pro­ceed­ings against Mr Brow­der organ­ised by his col­leagues in the Russ­ian Inte­rior Min­istry (http://5-tv.ru/news/71223/).

William Brow­der is run­ning a global cam­paign for jus­tice for late Russ­ian lawyer, Sergei Mag­nit­sky, who was tor­tured and killed in Russ­ian police cus­tody after expos­ing the $230 mil­lion theft, the largest pub­licly known case of fraud­u­lent tax refund per­pe­trated by Russ­ian offi­cials and orga­nized crim­i­nals. The cam­paign cul­mi­nated last Decem­ber with the adop­tion of Sergei Mag­nit­sky Rule of Law Account­abil­ity Act in the United States which imposes visa bans and asset freezes on Russ­ian offi­cials respon­si­ble for the ill-treatment and death of Mr Mag­nit­sky and the con­spir­acy he uncov­ered. On 12 April 2013, the US Gov­ern­ment pub­lished a list of 16 Russ­ian offi­cials involved in the Mag­nit­sky case. On the same day, the Russ­ian Inte­rior Min­istry ini­ti­ated a request for an in absen­tia arrest of William Browder.

William Brow­der is cur­rently advo­cat­ing for the adop­tion of Mag­nit­sky sanc­tions in the EU sim­i­lar to those adopted in the US. The renewed attack on Mr Brow­der by Russ­ian author­i­ties is aim­ing to block his abil­ity to cam­paign across Europe.

“If Russ­ian author­i­ties con­tinue in their non-compliance with Interpol’s Con­sti­tu­tion and abuse Interpol’s sys­tems for the pur­pose of polit­i­cal per­se­cu­tion, their access to Inter­pol data­bases must be sus­pended under the Inter­pol rules,” said a Her­mitage Cap­i­tal representative.

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