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

The Russians have repeatedly tried to get Interpol to issue an arrest warrant for Browder. "This is the 6th time that Russian Federation has abused Interpol in my case", Browder tweeted after his release.

But on May 30, Browder tweeted that Spanish police had arrested him on a Russian Interpol arrest warrant.

But there were multiple accounts about how the confusion arose, and why Mr Browder was detained.

Further muddying the waters, Interpol told AFP that Browder was not wanted via their own channels.

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.

He pushed for the 2012 Magnitsky Act, which punished several prominent Russians with US sanctions, and lately he has spoken frequently of Russian attempts to influence the domestic affairs of other countries.

"An arrest warrant has a date limit and when that expires, it must be deleted from the computer programme and in this case Interpol hadn't deleted it".

Russian Federation allegedly tried so many times to arrest him, in fact, that Browder wrote a whole book about those attempts, titled Red Notice.

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As early as July 2013, the worldwide police organization said it erased from its database Russian requests to locate and arrest Browder due to its "predominantly political character".

Mr Browder later said he had been released after the Interpol general secretary in Lyon advised Spanish police "not to honour the new Russian Interpol red notice".

Browder led one of the biggest investment funds in Russian Federation for 10 years before he left the country and was barred entry in 2006 as a threat to national security. Browder, a British citizen who was born in the USA, claims the case against him is politically motivated.

His company, Hermitage Capital, was a major foreign investor in Russian Federation until he was barred from entering the country in 2005. He was convicted of fraud in 2013, although the charges were rejected by Interpol as being politically motivated.

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.

Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said on Twitter after Mr Browder's release: "Just spoken to Bill Browder - very glad that he has now been released".

He said the arrest while on such a trip was ironic, but added: "Now that I'm released my mission carries on".

  • Sonia Alvarado