Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Quote of the day 30th May 2018

“The Russian government is looking very closely right now at the reaction to the Salisbury attack and seeing whether the British government will do more then expel a few diplomats.

If they don’t replicate the US oligarchs sanctions list then there is a great risk for anyone in the UK who is at odds with the Russian government.”

Bill Browder, British businessman and Putin critic, interview with City AM shortly after the Salisbury poisonings.

Mr Browder has campaigned for more effective sanctions against corrupt Russian oligarchs and their money, measures such as the US "Magnitsky Act" which is named after his lawyer who died in Russian custody in highly suspicious circumstances in 2009 after exposing a corruption ring and being arrested.

This morning Spanish police briefly arrested Mr Browder, supposedly on a Russian Interpol arrest warrant. Shortly afterwards the Spanish authorities told The Associated Press and Reuters news agencies that Browder was not under arrest, had been released from a station in Madrid, and appeared to have been picked up on an expired warrant.

Browder says that he was released following the intervention of the General Secretary of Interpol, who told the Spanish authorities not to honour the Russian notice. He added that this is the SIXTH attempt by the Russian regime to "abuse" the Interpol process to go after him.

A spokesperson at the Interpol Press office told CBS News this morning that

"Browder has never been put on a Interpol Red notice, there have been requests made in the past, but he has never been on any Interpol Red Notice."

The spokesperson denied that Browder was even in the agency's data base. That is consistent with what Mr Browder is saying, because Interpol previously stated in October last year that they had deleted his details at the same time as advising member states to ignore Russia's previous (e.g. fifth)  attempt to use the agency to go after him, which used a legal device called a "diffusion notice" in an attempt to get round the fact that Interpol HQ keeps refusing to act on Russia's blatantly stitched up warrants for his arrest. Interpol said on that occasion that

"A diffusion notice recently circulated in relation to Mr. Browder was found to be non-compliant following a review by the General Secretariat,”

and they added that

"All information in relation to this request has been deleted from Interpol’s databases and all Interpol member countries informed accordingly."

Bill Browder's treatment by the Putin regime is further evidence that, whether we want a new cold war with Russia or not, we've got one. In every respect short of actually shooting at us the present Russian government is acting like a hostile state.

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