Russia critic Browder says he's been arrested in Spain

01 June 2018, 03:46 | Isaac Mcdaniel

British Putin critic Bill Browder tweets that he has been arrested in Spain on a Russian warrant

Bill Browder

Browder wrote: "Urgent: Just was arrested by Spanish police in Madrid on a Russian Interpol arrest warrant".

Bill Browder, a US-born British citizen, was arrested in Madrid around 9:30 a.m. local time and released around 11:30 a.m., according to his tweets.

Last year he was sentenced in absentia by a Russian court to nine years in prison on fraud and tax evasion charges.

He posted a police document with the word "fraud" written as the cause for the detention, and then followed it with a photo of himself outside of a police station saying he had been released "after Interpol General Secretary in Lyon advised them not to honour the new Russian Interpol Red Notice". He tweeted on Wednesday morning that he'd been arrested on an Interpol warrant, but the worldwide law enforcement agency denied involvement.

Browder has worked in the past with Russian lawyer Sergei Magnitsky, who died in detention in 2009, sparking global outrage over claims that his imprisonment was politically motivated.

Chicago-born Browder is the founder and CEO of Hermitage Capital Management, an worldwide investment fund.

"And so he came up with the most heartless, vindictive thing he could do, which was Americans were adopting disabled Russian orphans, and he said, 'No, you can't adopt them anymore, '" Browder explained.

"Interpol is incapable of stopping Russian abuse of their systems", he added.

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However, in an email, Interpol said it has never issued a Red Notice for Browder.

The agency said in a statement: "Mr Browder is not wanted via Interpol channels". But Putin doesn't just use Interpol to express his anger.

A spokeswoman for Spain's National Police Corps told Business Insider on Wednesday morning that Madrid police thought they were acting on Interpol instructions.

Just weeks ago Browder told City A.M. that British citizens who were critical of the Putin regime were at "great risk", warning that unless the United Kingdom government acted there would be "more killings on United Kingdom soil".

When Magnitsky alerted the government, he was arrested and, after refusing to testify against Hermitage and drop his allegations, he died in prison in 2009.

British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson tweeted Wednesday that he was "very glad" Browder had been released.

"Moscow should concentrate on bringing those responsible for the murder of #Magnitsky to justice", he tweeted.

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