Interpol chief invited to Moscow to discuss issue of Browder - sources
The Russian authorities have sent an official invitation to Moscow to Interpol Secretary General Ronald Noble in order to discuss placing businessman William Browder on international wanted list, informed sources in law enforcement authorities told Interfax. Noble has previously proposed such a meeting himself.
"The proposal to visit Moscow in the coming days has been sent to the chief of the international police organization to the Interpol headquarters in Lyon. This is how Russia has responded to Noble's letter sent to us in July 2913," a source told Interfax.
Noble could meet the Russian colleagues in Moscow in early September, the source said. "The final date of the talks has not been set," the source said.
A source has told Interfax that the Russian Interior Ministry had received a letter from the head of the Interpol's Central Bureau offering to meet with authorized representatives of the Russian agency and to hold talks regarding the investigation of Browder's case and putting him on the international wanted list.
Interpol is prepared to listen to Russia's arguments and to reconsider its stance that the London businessman's criminal case is politically motivated, the source said. Interpol's Central Bureau earlier removed information about Browder from its database, citing the results of an independent examination of Browder's criminal case.
The Russian Interior Ministry said it was opposed to the position of international police organization and insisted that Browder was put on the international most wanted list pending the criminal probe into the misappropriation of Gazprom (RTS: GAZP) shares.
Russia did not forward documents to Interpol on declaring Hermitage Capital co-founder and CEO William Browder wanted, according to the Russian Interior Ministry.
Upon the request of the Russian Prosecutor General's Office, the Russian bureau of Interpol has sent a request to the Interpol Secretariat to place on the international wanted list Browder, 1964, accused of "especially large-scale fraud," the press office of the Russian Interior Ministry has told Interfax.
Browder purchased illegally over 131 million Gazprom shares between 1999 and 2004 at a domestic market price of no more than 2 billion rubles, the Interior Ministry said. The ministry also said that Browder "illegally concluded at least 30 purchase and sale deals on shares of the Russian gas concern and inflicted Russian damage of at least 2.9 billion rubles."
On July 11, 2013, Moscow's Tverskoi Court sentenced in absentia Hermitage Capital Head Browder and Hermitage Capital auditor Sergei Magnitsky on the counts of large-scale tax evasion of over 533 million rubles by faking tax declarations and illegally using concessions for disabled persons.
Browder was sentenced to nine years in a general regime penal colony. Browder was tried in absentia because he did not come to investigative bodies and the UK and Northern Ireland refused to extradite him.