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Bill Browder, Putin critic, tweets his arrest on "Russian" warrant

01 June 2018

USA -born British fund manager and Kremlin critic Bill Browder was arrested in Spain on a Russian Interpol arrest warrant on Wednesday before being released later in the day.

It was carried out on a Russia-issued Interpol arrest warrant, Browder said. "Once in the police station, they realised it wasn't valid", a police spokesman told AFP.

Spanish authorities confirmed that the anti-corruption activist was arrested in Madrid, but had since been released. "They won't tell me which station", Browder said in a tweet, which include a photo taken from the back of a police auto.

The financier has advocated for US sanctions targeting Russian officials over human rights abuses.

"They are using everything they can to stop me, and the abuse of the Interpol system is another example of that", Browder told AP after meeting Spain's top anti-corruption prosecutor, Jose Grinda, following his release from detention.

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

In December, Browder called for Interpol to "suspend Russia's membership for flagrant abuse of the Interpol system".

The US-born British citizen, who describes himself as (Russian President Vladimir) "Putin's no.1 enemy", has led a high-profile campaign in memory of his former employee Magnitsky.

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In fact, Browder said it was this "mission" that brought him to Madrid - until, that is, Spanish police detained him.

But Browder countered that, telling City A.M.:"Interpol is playing a word game - there has never been a red notice, but there have been a number of diffusion notices - it just means it hasn't been officially approved".

Browder has worked in the past with Russian lawyer Sergei Magnitsky, who died in detention in 2009, sparking worldwide outrage over claims that his imprisonment was politically motivated.

Then, earlier this month, British lawmakers backed a measure to impose sanctions against people guilty of human rights violations in memory of Magnitsky.

British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson has welcomed the release of United Kingdom -based financier William Browder after a brief detention by police in Spain.

The agency said in a statement: "Mr Browder is not wanted via Interpol channels".

Interpol had previously refused to enforce a 2013 warrant for the investor, deeming it "predominantly political in nature".

Bill Browder, Putin critic, tweets his arrest on