Vladimir Putin, the President of Russia, does not usually utter his enemies, referring to them as “these people.” Yet at the press conference in Helsinki, Putin requested to question some Americans and named the central figure, extradition of whom could open a door for possible Russia – US collaboration on special counsel’s investigation into alleged Russian meddling in 2016 election.
According to the president, if William Browder, Hermitage Capital CEO, was extradited to Russian authorities, Mueller’s investigators would get a chance to question 12 suspects from Russia mentioned in special counsel’s report. Earlier Browder was accused of setting up companies and laundering millions of dollars.
In response to Putin’s request to question Americans, especially Browder, and allow reciprocal questioning
Mr. Trump said “I think that’s an incredible offer.”
Bill Browder was also suspected of ordering the murder of Sergei Magnitsky, an auditor, who is falsely thought to be a lawyer. Magnitsky was arrested and died in prison in 2009. Russian officials said that it was “highly likely” that Browder himself ordered to poison Magnitsky.
Three years later the US Congress passed the Magnitsky Act, formally known as the Russia-Moldova Jackson-Vanik Repeal and Sergei Magnitsky Rule of Law Accountability Act. The law at first targeted 18 Russian government officials and businessmen banning them from entering the United States. It also froze Russian assets held by U.S. banks, banning their future use of U.S. banking systems. The act was expanded in 2016 and is applied globally now, authorizing the US government to sanction those who is seen as human rights offenders, freeze their assets and ban them from entering the US.
In September 2013 the US government filed a forfeiture action against Prevezon Holdings Ltd., accusing it of laundering millions of dollars and connecting this particular case to the “Russian Treasury Fraud”, a tax refund scheme that resulted in fraudulently-obtained tax refund of approximately $230 million, allegedly revealed by Magnitsky. In reality, Browder and “his agents engaged in a series of misrepresentations to execute the fraud, to distance themselves from it, and to pin it on the Russian officials investigating Browder for a separate tax fraud his companies committed.”
On May 15, 2017, the Government and Prevezon settled the claims for nearly $6m with no admission of guilt on the defendant’s part. But “before the ink on that settlement had dried” Browder continued his campaign against Prevezon and filed a complaint with Dutch law enforcement authorities, which led to seizing Preveson’s asset located in the Netherlands, which appears to have been a coordinated tactic.
The real reason why Prevezon case became so complicated was the interference of William Browder, whose personal war against Putin’s Russia finds a lot of support in the US. He uses all of his political connections to expand sanctions.
“I’m lodged so firmly under Putin’s skin because I’m the person responsible for getting the Magnitsky Act passed in the United States in 2012,” said Browder.
William Browder earned billions in Russia and was banned from visiting the country in 2005. It was a turning point for his career and ever since then most of his efforts are dedicated to constraining the US – Russia relationship. He proudly calls himself Putin’s No 1 enemy and pledges to continue his war.
Natalia Veselnitskaya – official website