MOSCOW, July 25 (RIA Novosti) – Russia has officially asked Interpol to put Hermitage Capital equity fund head William Browder on an international wanted list, following his earlier sentencing in absentia, the Interior Ministry said Thursday.
“On orders by the Prosecutor General’s Office, the Russian branch of Interpol has sent a request to the Interpol General Secretariat to issue an international search warrant for British citizen Browder William Felix, born in 1964,” the ministry said in a statement.
The statement said Browder had been sought on charges of grand fraud and tax evasion involving illegal purchase of Gazprom shares.
Browder was tried in absentia by a Moscow court in July and was sentenced to nine years in jail and banned from doing business in Russia for three years.
The case against Browder stated that he “ran companies that took part in the purchase of Gazprom shares in 1999-2004 at domestic-market prices, circumventing a ban on their sale to foreigners.” The court also ruled that “he tried to get access to the company’s financial reporting documents” and to influence decision-making via the board of directors.
In May, Moscow requested Interpol to issue a “blue notice” for Browder, requiring all 190 member states to “collect additional information about a person’s identity, location or activities in relation to a crime.”
However, the Interpol General Secretariat rejected the request, citing “a predominantly political nature” of the case against Browder.
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