Saturday, 13 February 2016
Last updated 8 hours ago
May 21 2013 | 1:01pm ET
Russia has stopped short of demanding the arrest abroad of Hermitage Capital Management founder William Browder—but it does want to know where he is.
The country has asked international policing agency Interpol to issue an "all points bulletin" for Browder, who has vocally campaigned for sanctions against Russia in the wake of the death in prison of a Hermitage lawyer four years ago. Such a bulletin would request that Interpol's 190 members keep Russia informed of Browder's whereabouts.
Russia could have sought a "red notice" from Interpol, which would have sought Browder's arrest.
Russia last month issued an arrest warrant in absentia for Browder, who is accused of tax fraud. For his part, Browder, an American-born British citizen who lives in London, has accused Russian officials of bilking both Hermitage and Russia itself, and has alleged that lawyer Sergei Magnitsky was tortured to death. He has led a partially successful effort to have Russian officials linked with the case against Magnitsky barred from the U.S. and western Europe, and to have their assets in those countries frozen.
Browder has said those efforts have made him Russia's biggest enemy, and that the U.S. "Magnitsky Act" "really touches them" and makes Russian President Vladimir Putin go "completely out of his mind."
Interpol is set to consider Russia's request tomorrow. The agency could reject it if it finds that Russia is seeking "any intervention or activities of a political, military, religious or racial character."
"The Russian authorities seek to involve Interpol in an abusive and politically-motivated attack on Mr. Browder," Hermitage said. "Anyone offering the Russian Interior Ministry support" becomes "part and parcel of Mr. Putin's political vendetta against Mr. Browder and attempts to cover up the murder of Sergei Magnitsky," it continued.