Interpol snubs Russia on request to arrest human rights critic William Browder

MOSCOW — Interpol has refused a request from Russia to put William Browder, a U.S.-born investment banker who has organized a worldwide campaign to punish Russia for human rights abuses, on its arrest list. Browder was a major proponent of the U.S. Magnitsky law, which imposes visa and financial sanctions on Russians deemed to have violated human rights.

The law was passed in honor of Sergei Magnitsky, a lawyer for Browder’s Hermitage Capital Fund, who died in detention in Moscow after he uncovered a $230 million tax fraud, implicated Russian tax and police officers and was charged by them with the crime instead. Russia has accused Browder of involvement in fraud, as well.

A gaucho rides a wild horse during the annual celebration of Criolla Week in Montevideo, April 15, 2014. Throughout Easter Week, 'gauchos', the Latin American equivalent of the North American cowboy, from all over Uruguay and neighboring Argentina and Brazil will visit Montevideo to participate in the Criolla Week to win the best rider award. The competition is held from April 13 to April 20 this year. REUTERS/Andres Stapff (URUGUAY - Tags: ANIMALS SOCIETY)

(Andres Stapff / Reuters)

Photos of the day

South Korean ferry capsizes, Boston marathon bombing anniversary, T. rex bones, Viking longboat on the Thames and more.

More world coverage

Almost 300 missing in South Korean ferry disaster

Almost 300 missing in South Korean ferry disaster

Rescuers raced to find survivors in an elaborate operation as the ferry gradually went belly-up.

Obama’s Asia strategy falls short

Obama’s Asia strategy falls short

Amid some allies’ loss of confidence in the administration’s commitment, the president plans trips to the region.

Syrian opposition fighters obtain U.S. antitank missiles

Syrian opposition fighters obtain U.S. antitank missiles

U.S. officials declined to discuss the origin of the weapons but did not dispute that the rebels have them.

In a statement posted on its Web site Friday evening, Interpol said the request to arrest Browder was politically motivated. On Saturday, Browder described the decision as a major humiliation for President Vladimir Putin.

“That an independent police organization would say the entire Magnitsky case is politically motivated is extremely significant,” he said in a telephone interview.

Alexei Pushkov, head of parliament’s international affairs decision, criticized the decision in comments to the Interfax news agency.

“Declaring a case political without a thorough investigation is a political position rather than an investigative body’s position,” he said Saturday.

 
Read what others are saying