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Anti-Putin campaigner Bill Browder arrested in Spain

Anti-Putin campaigner Bill Browder arrested in Spain

The Spanish police have released the American financier Bill Browder that had been detained earlier on the Russian arrest warrant, Bloomberg reports.

Bill Browder has claimed Interpol is "playing with words" after the worldwide police body claimed it had never issued a warrant for his arrest.

On Wednesday, Browder tweeted that he had been arrested in Madrid and taken to a police station.

The Spanish police service said:...

Browder however tweeted that Interpol had intervened and told the police "not to honor the new Russian Interpol Red Notice", referring to the global police group's list of wanted people.

A Russian court sentenced Browder to nine years in prison in absentia in December after finding him guilty of deliberate bankruptcy and tax evasion.

Browder was the driving force behind the Magnitsky Act, which lets USA authorities impose sanctions on Russian officials over human rights abuses.

A police vehicle is seen outside the police station where British businessman Bill Browder, a prominent critic of Russian President Vladimir Putin, was taken to when he was detained and then released by Spanish police in Madrid, May 30, 2018.

He also shared a copy of the arrest warrant from the National Police Force Directorate General informing him of his right to remain silent, obtain a lawyer and call his family.

A spokeswoman for Spain's National Police Corps told Business Insider on Wednesday morning that Madrid police thought they were acting on Interpol instructions.

Interpol said in a statement: "There is not, and never has been, a Red Notice for Mr. Bill Browder".

"Vladimir Putin and the Russian government are absolutely infuriated that we are bringing them to justice for the murder of Sergei Magnitsky", U.S. -born and London-based investor William Browder told The Associated Press.

In October, Interpol rejected Russia's request to arrest Browder, telling member states to ignore an attempt by Moscow to pursue the fund manager through the organization.

When Sergei Magnitsky, a lawyer hired by Hermitage, was found dead in his Moscow prison cell in 2009, Browder embarked on a global crusade to demonize Russian Federation as a murderous dictatorship.

Spanish police said he was released shortly after because the warrant had expired, the BBC reported.

Interpol had previously refused to enforce a similar 2013 sentence for Mr Browder, deeming it "predominantly political in nature".

British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson welcomed Browder's release, tweeting: "Just spoken to Bill Browder - very glad that he has now been released".


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