Back in September, Hermitage Capital Management CEO Browder filed a request to a court in Cyprus asking an emergency injunction on the transfer of any data about his activities to Russia. In early October, Cyprus suspended cooperation with Moscow on the case, while the Russian Foreign Ministry expressed regret over it. In late October, a group of 17 members of the European Parliament sent a letter to the Cypriot government, asking not to cooperate with Russia on the probe.
During Friday’s hearing, the applicants sought to insist that Nicosia-Moscow cooperation could cause them irreparable damages, according to Cyprus Mail.
"It has not been shown that in case the Republic of Cyprus executes the particular request for legal assistance of the Russian Federation, the plaintiffs will suffer irreparable damage. Nor have they claimed of course that they have suffered that as a result of the execution of previous requests," the judge said, as quoted by the newspaper.
In 2013, Russia sentenced Browder in absentia to nine years in prison for tax evasion and falsely claiming tax breaks for hiring disabled persons. The court also ruled that Sergei Magnitsky, a tax and legal consultant for Hermitage Capital Management, who died in pretrial detention in Moscow in 2010, developed and implemented a tax evasion scheme while working for the businessman. Browder refuted the accusations, saying that he became a victim of a corruption scheme himself.
In February 2017, a Moscow court ruled to arrest Browder and his business partner Ivan Cherkasov, both charged with 4.2 billion rubles ($72.9 million) in unpaid taxes, in absentia. The United Kingdom, where they two have resided, has denied requests to have them extradited to Russia.