Russia Targets Kremlin Critic Browder With 'Kafkaesque' Poison Probe

Russian Prosecutors Issue New Charges Against Kremlin Critic Browder

Sergei Magnitsky, a lawyer who claimed Russian officials had stolen 5 billion rubles ($73.4 billion) in 2008, worked for Browder's company.

Russian Federation has issued new charges against US -born hedge fund manager William Browder, who has dismissed previous tax evasion convictions in the country as being politically motivated.

At the news conference in Moscow, Nikolai Atmonyev, an assistant to Russia's prosecutor-general, said the authorities were investigating Browder's possible involvement in what he called "the fatal poisoning with a chemical" of Magnitsky and three other people.

Browder drew a parallel between the accusations against him and the poisoning of former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia in England in March.

"Russia never conducted targeted studies" of the substances in question, Aleksandrov said, adding that "toxicological studies of aluminum compounds have been conducted exclusively by research centers in the United States, France, and Italy".

Atmonyev said Russian Federation would seek Browder's arrest and extradition under the UN's Convention against Transnational Organized Crime, which allows countries without a bilateral agreement to extradite suspects.

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"The credibility of the version about the poisoning of Sergey Magnitsky in the interests of Browder is also confirmed by the testimony of journalist Oleg Lurie, who was kept with Magnitsky in one detention centre and communicated with him shortly before his death", Kurennoy said.

Current Interpol vice president Prokopchuk is seen as the favourite for the position.

Russian Federation branded Browder a national security threat and banned him from the country in 2005, when his Hermitage Capital fund held more than $4 billion in investments.

The Russian Investigative Committee has launched a case on the murder of accomplices of Browder - Valery Kurochkin, Oktay Gasanov and Sergei Korobeinikov - according to Mikhail Aleksandrov, an official with the office of the Russian prosecutor general.

"I really struck a nerve with the Magnitsky Act", Browder tweeted in response.

Peskov also said that the Kremlin "naturally" supported Prokupchuk, who is now an Interpol vice president, and wanted him "to be victorious in this election".


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