The Guardian reports: Russia has placed a prominent British businessman on the Interpol wanted list. President Vladimir Putin is understood to have sanctioned the move against Bill Browder, who has led an international campaign against Russia over the killing of the jailed Moscow lawyer, Sergei Magnitsky.
On Wednesday Canada became the latest country to pass a “Magnitsky Act”, targeting officials “who have committed gross violations” of human rights. The move infuriated Putin, who accused Canada of playing “unconstructive political games” and later name-checked Browder for pursuing what the Russian president described as “illegal activity”.
On Saturday it emerged that Russia had placed the US-born British citizen on Interpol’s list, exploiting a loophole that lets countries unilaterally place individuals on its database used to request an arrest. Browder said he was alerted to the move by an email from the US department of homeland security, stating his “global entry status” had been revoked. Further calls confirmed he had been added to Interpol’s list via an arrest demand, known as a “diffusion”.
Moscow has a habit of using Interpol against its enemies and has previously used the global police organisation to pursue what many western governments view as a vendetta against Browder. Putin tried three times between 2012 and 2015 to get Interpol to issue arrest orders against Browder, but failed to convince the organisation that it did not have political motives. [Continue reading…]