Kremlin Critic Browder Arrested in Spain on Russian Warrant

Bill Browder

Financier Bill Browder, widely credited for the creation of the Magnitsky Act and a critic of Russian President Vladimir Putin, was arrested briefly by the Spanish police in Madrid on an Interpol notice issued by Russia on Wednesday.

Browder said the reason he was in Madrid was to give evidence to the senior Spanish anti-Russian mafia prosecutor Jose Grinda about what he described as the "huge amount of money from the Magnitsky case that flowed to Spain".

Browder has been a driving force behind the U.S.'s Magnitsky Act sanctions against Russian oligarchs, and his book, Red Notice, alleges corruption that goes up to the highest levels of the Russian government, including Vladimir Putin himself.

Spanish police released him about an hour after his initial arrest.

Recall, 11 July 2013 the Moscow city court recognized the General Director of investment Fund Hermitage Capital Management William Browder guilty of tax evasion and sentenced him to 9 years in a General regime colony.

Browder helped push for the U.S.to pass the Magnitsky Act in 2012 - a bill which freezes the visas and assets of Russians suspected of human rights abuses by the USA government.

Mr. Browder also tweeted a photo from the back of a police auto: "In the back of the Spanish police vehicle going to the station on the Russian arrest warrant".

Back in March he told MPs he believed the Russians would like "more than anything" to arrest him and "get me back to Russia and then kill me in the control of their own system".

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An Interpol spokesperson said: "There is not, and never has been, a Red Notice for Mr Bill Browder".

The businessman who lobbied US politicians to impose tough sanctions on Russian officials has been detained by police in Spain following a Russian arrest warrant.

Image: Mr. Browder confirmed he had been released on Twitter.

Browder was detained by Spanish police Wednesday on a Russian warrant, which authorities later said had expired.

"This is the 6th time that Russian Federation has abused Interpol in my case", he wrote on Twitter.

"Mr Browder is not wanted via INTERPOL channels and we would advise you to contact the Spanish authorities for any information about the basis of the reported arrest made today".

Foreign secretary Boris Johnson said: "Very glad he has now been released. Moscow should concentrate on bringing those responsible for the murder of #Magnitsky to justice". But that all changed in 2005 when he was expelled from the country after being deemed a threat to national security.

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