Published: Tue, November 20, 2018

Russia Targets Kremlin Critic Browder With 'Kafkaesque' Poison Probe

Russia Targets Kremlin Critic Browder With 'Kafkaesque' Poison Probe

Russian prosecutors on Monday accused Bill Browder, a prominent critic of Vladimir Putin, of ordering the murder of lawyer Sergei Magnitsky and several other business associates - the latest in a string of efforts to discredit one of the most vocal advocates of sanctions against the regime. "It was his government that cheated and hacked in elections in the United States and Europe", Browder said of Putin.

"To put his representative in charge of the most important worldwide crime-fighting organisation is like putting the mafia in charge, and that will only lead to bad things going forward". He died a year later in a Moscow prison, after he was reportedly assaulted and denied proper medical treatment.

Browder, the British head of investment fund Hermitage Capital Management, has led a campaign to expose corruption and punish Russian officials he blames for the 2009 death of Sergei Magnitsky, whom he had employed as a lawyer, in a Moscow jail.

Interpol itself won't comment on the upcoming vote.

A decade later he was elected to a vice president position in the organisation. The president oversees the executive committee, which meets a few times a year and decides Interpol's strategy and direction.

The accusations are the latest chapter in an ongoing battle between the Kremlin and Browder, a US -born Briton who was once the biggest foreign investor in Russian Federation but fell afoul of the government and is now a foe of President Vladimir Putin.

Interpol is due to elect a new head on November 21 and four U.S. senators, including Marco Rubio, published a joint statement on Monday urging the administration of U.S. President Donald Trump to oppose the candidacy of Russia's Alexander Prokopchuk.

"This is probably a certain kind of interference in the electoral process of an global organization", Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov told reporters on a conference call.

The victor will serve the last two years of Meng Hongwei's original four-year mandate. Human Rights Watch warned that Meng's election would "embolden and encourage abuses" in the Interpol system.

"On the eve of Interpol deciding whether a Russian official should be president of Interpol, the Russian prosecutor's office holds a huge press conference about me and how they will chase me down anywhere in the world", he tweeted.

Meng is now under arrest in China as part of a possible domestic political purge - hence the vote to replace him. Interpol members voted previous year to admit Palestine as a member, causing an uproar in Israel.

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