Browder Suggests Russia Might Kill Him

Jun 17 2013 | 12:58pm ET

Hermitage Capital Management founder William Browder says that if he turns up dead, it won't be hard to figure out who's behind it.

The hedge fund manager, who has been battling the Russian government for six years, made it clear that one need only look to Russia to find the culprit if he becomes the fifth person involved in the case to die. Browder's words come after British police last week ruled out foul play in the death of Alexander Perepilichny, a whistleblower in the case who died suddenly at the age of 44 last year.

"At the moment, nothing keeps me protected," Browder told CNBC. "If I get assassinated, everyone will know who did it."

Browder has been leading an international campaign for justice for Hermitage lawyer Sergei Magnitsky, who died in a Moscow prison in 2009, under torture, according to Browder and human rights groups. Last year, he won the passage of a U.S. law sanctioning Russian officials linked to Magnitsky's death.

"It would effectively be a declaration of war with the West if they decide to kill me," Browder said.

Russia has accused Hermitage and Browder of a massive tax fraud. The hedge fund, once the largest foreign investor in Russia, has said that Interior Ministry officials bilked the country's treasury and then laid the blame on it.

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