LONDON, April 9 (Reuters) - Russia has asked Interpol for the seventh time to arrest Bill Browder, a London-based Kremlin critic who leads a campaign to punish Russian officials for the 2009 death of his lawyer Sergei Magnitsky, according to a letter seen by Reuters.
Once the biggest foreign money manager in Moscow, Browder has become one of the most vociferous Western critics of Kremlin chief Vladimir Putin, Russia’s preeminent leader since 1999.
According to a letter reviewed by Reuters, Interpol’s Commission for the Control of Files wrote to Browder’s lawyers to say that Russia’s National Central Bureau had requested his arrest for charges including deliberate bankruptcy and tax evasion.
“The NCB of Russia has authorized the Commission to disclose to you its wish to request police cooperation for your client through an INTERPOL diffusion to arrest,” Interpol said in a letter dated Jan 21, 2019.
Russia has repeatedly asked Interpol to arrest Browder, who was sentenced in absentia by a Russian court to nine years in prison for deliberate bankruptcy and tax evasion.
Interpol has rejected the requests six times. Browder says he is the victim of a vendetta by corrupt officials in the Russian state and denies all the charges.
Such is Browder’s notoriety that Putin even suggested to U.S. President Donald Trump last year in Helsinki that Russian officials be allowed to question him for allowing associates to earn $1.5 billion without paying any proper Russian tax. (Reporting by Guy Faulconbridge; editing by Kate Holton)