US Will Defy Russian Order to Arrest Critic

But William Browder still doesn't feel 'safe'
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 24, 2017 9:07 AM CDT
US Will Defy Russian Order to Arrest Critic
US-born businessman William Browder answers reporters during an interview with the Associated Press in Paris in 2015.   (AP Photo/Remy de la Mauviniere)

Vladimir Putin won't be happy about this: The US is essentially ignoring a criminal complaint, which could see Kremlin critic William Browder arrested and extradited to Russia, where Browder says "I know they'd kill me in prison." The American-born British citizen was a top investor in Russia before he was expelled from the country more than a decade ago, per NPR. Years later, his lawyer, Sergei Magnitsky, died in prison after accusing Russian officials of corruption. With Browder's help, several countries would go on to pass the Magnitsky Act, which targets those who commit human rights abuses in Russia, reports the Guardian. Having thus infuriated Putin, Browder says Russia is now targeting him with an Interpol arrest warrant, accusing him of killing Magnitsky.

"It's all very scary … I definitely don't feel safe," Browder told NPR Tuesday, noting the warrant—filed through an Interpol loophole, per the EU Observer—means he could be arrested and extradited to Russia if he attempts to cross an international border. For a time, Browder worried the US would be among the countries to arrest him after his authorization for visa-free travel to the US was revoked, per CNBC. The change led to objections from Republican Sen. John McCain and Sen. Ben Cardin, a Democrat. But a Trump administration official tells the New York Times that the authorization was revoked automatically in response to the Interpol notice. It has since been restored. Browder tweeted Monday that he "successfully checked into a US flight," though he remained in London as of Tuesday morning. (More Russia stories.)

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