Putin critic Bill Browder arrested, released in Spain

Businessman Bill Browder, who was once the biggest foreign investor in Russia but has become a vocal critic of the country and clashed with President Vladimir Putin's government, said Wednesday that he was detained in Spain on a "Russian" arrest warrant.

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

However, the press service of the Spanish National Police did not officially confirm or deny the reports.

The Kremlin has convicted Browder in absentia for tax evasion, and he faces nine years in prison there.

The U.S. adopted the Magnitsky Act in 2012, imposing travel bans and sanctions on Russian officials seen as involved in the lawyer's death.

Browder posted pictures taken from the back of a police auto and his warrant, which showed a charge of fraud, before he was released.

Mr Browder then posted a picture of a document linked to his arrest, detailing his legal rights and saying that he had been detained on allegations of fraud. "All I can say is I know the Russian side intimately and I can tell you this was a highly resourced operation to get rid of a piece of legislation that would affect Vladimir Putin personally".

Russian Federation allegedly tried so many times to arrest him, in fact, that Browder wrote a whole book about those attempts, titled Red Notice.

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United Kingdom investor and Putin critic Browder says on Wednesday, May 30, 2018 in a tweet that he has been arrested in Spain on Russian request.

He also posted an image of the warrant and another picture taken in the back of a police auto.

But Browder countered that, telling City A.M.:"Interpol is playing a word game - there has never been a red notice, but there have been a number of diffusion notices - it just means it hasn't been officially approved".

Foreign secretary Boris Johnson said: "Very glad he has now been released".

After an hour in custody he was released because the warrant was no longer valid, Spanish police said. As far as we know, he is a British citizen now.

Interpol had previously refused to enforce a similar 2013 sentence for Mr Browder, deeming it "predominantly political in nature".

Fair Trials, a global criminal justice watchdog, said the confusion over Browder's arrest highlighted the serious problems with Interpol's system of global "wanted person" alerts.

Russian Federation has labeled Browder a national security threat, banned him from the country in 2005 and tried him in absentia for tax evasion in 2013.

(Copyright © 2015. All Rights Reserved.)
 
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