Putin critic Bill Browder freed after brief arrest in Spain

Source: BBC | May 30, 2018 | Brooke Seipel

Financier Bill Browder, a high-profile critic of Russian President Vladimir Putin, has been briefly arrested in Spain on a Russian arrest warrant.

After an hour in custody he was released because the warrant was no longer valid, Spanish police said.

Mr Browder had earlier tweeted that he had been arrested on a Russian Interpol arrest warrant.

Interpol rejected the claim, saying: “There is not, and never has been, a Red Notice for Mr Bill Browder.”

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

But there were multiple accounts about how the confusion arose, and why Mr Browder was detained.

A police spokesman told AFP: “An arrest warrant has a date limit and when that expires, it must be deleted from the computer programme and in this case Interpol hadn’t deleted it.”

But the US-born financier, who is a British citizen, tweeted that a new notice had been issued.

“Spanish National Police just released me after Interpol General Secretary in Lyon advised them not to honor the new Russian Interpol Red Notice,” he said. “This is the sixth time that Russia has abused Interpol in my case.”

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