MOSCOW, July 27 (RIA Novosti) – Russia’s Interior Ministry said Saturday that Moscow expects Interpol leadership to explain its decision to turn down its request seeking to locate and arrest Hermitage Capital head William Browder.
On Friday Interpol reiterated that it could not be used by Russian to seek the arrest Browder, who was recently convicted in absentia by a Russian court on charges of fraud and tax evasion. The Interpol General Secretariat dismissed the request citing “a predominantly political nature” of the case against Browder.
“Russian Interior Ministry continues to consider Interpol an organization that makes decision in the framework of international law and its Constitution, and doesn’t apply political decision or value judgments,” the ministry said in its statement on Saturday.
“In this connection, the Interior Ministry expects to receive exhaustive explanations of Interpol General Secretariat’s position,” the statement said.
Browder, who heads what was once the largest portfolio investor in Russia, was banned from Russia in 2005, ostensibly for national security reasons, and now lives in Britain.
Russia’s case against Browder alleged 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.
Browder was also convicted by a Moscow court of conspiring with Russian lawyer Sergei Magnitsky, who died in pretrial detention in 2010, to embezzle funds in tax evasion schemes.
Britain had earlier rejected Moscow’s extradition request for Browder, a UK citizen, citing the absence of extradition agreement with Russia.