Top Putin critic freed after being detained in Spain on Russian warrant

Top Putin critic freed after being detained in Spain on Russian warrant
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A top critic of Russian President Vladimir PutinVladimir Vladimirovich PutinWhite House calls Microsoft email breach an 'active threat' As gas prices soar, Americans can blame Joe Biden How to think about Russia MORE said he was briefly detained by Spanish police acting on a “Russian Interpol arrest warrant.”

Bill Browder, a British financer, tweeted a photo from the back of a police car in Madrid on Wednesday.

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.

Browder, however, shared that the Spanish National Police released him hours after “Interpol General Secretary in Lyon advised them not to honor the new Russian Interpol Red Notice.”

Browder said it was the sixth time Russia has used Interpol — the International Criminal Police Organization — to detain him.


“It was NOT an expired warrant, but a live one,” Browder said. “Interpol is incapable of stopping Russian abuse of their systems.”

Browder had his United States travel privileges revoked last year, apparently triggered by Russia’s decision to try and place Browder on the Interpol wanted list in pursuit of his arrest.

He was in Madrid to give evidence to anti-Russian mafia prosecutor Jose Grinda “about a huge amount of money” that he says has flowed in to Spain regarding the case of former lawyer Sergei Magnitsky.

Magnitsky was exposing how corrupt officials and police officers orchestrated a multimillion-dollar tax fraud scheme when he was arrested in 2008. He died after nearly a year in a Russian prison, where he was reportedly severely beaten and denied medical care.

Browder helped push for the U.S. to pass the Magnitsky Act in 2012 — a bill which freezes the visas and assets of Russians suspected of human rights abuses by the US government.

Russia retaliated by cutting off the U.S. adoption of Russian children.

Canada passed its own Magnitsky Act in October and a "Magnitsky amendment" was added to U.K. legislation last week, BuzzFeed News reported.