Robin Van Lonkhuijsen / AFP / Getty Images
For a short time, Bill Browder was in Spanish custody. The London-based businessman and voiced Kremlin critic was arrested in Madrid after Browder claimed that it was a Russian warrant for interpol
He used to be a major investor in Russia and spent nearly a decade in an international crusade against him corruption in the government of Russian President Vladimir Putin. He urged the 2012 adopted Magnitsky Act, which punished several prominent Russians with US sanctions, and has recently spoken of Russian attempts to influence other countries' internal affairs.
Indeed, Browder said that it was this "mission" that took him to Madrid until the Spanish police arrested him. The authorities released Browder just hours later, but not before he had fired several tweets recording the arrest .
In the back of the Spanish police car driving on the Russian warrant for the railway station. You will not tell me which station pic.twitter.com/Xwj27xC7Zd
– Bill Browder (@Billbrowder) May 30, 2018
"Urgent: Just was arrested by the Spanish police in Madrid a Russian Interpol warrant, "he announced to his followers Thursday morning. "Go to the police station now."
He even tweeted a picture of the apparent arrest warrant of the Spanish federal government, requesting his arrest for fraud against which a Russian court sentenced him in absentia
He was only hours later dismissed after being detained "for the minimum necessary time" said the Spanish National Police Corps .
It did not take long for Browder to flunk out of Spain and put the arrest in his back view – but the questions continue to revolve around exactly why the activist and the commentator were arrested.
Browder claimed that his arrest took place because Russia had received an active Interpol Red Notice or a formal request that an Interpol member state detain a suspect on the basis of a valid arrest warrant issued by another member state. He stated that Thursday's dust cloud was actually "the result of a sixth Russian arrest warrant using Interpol channels".
Russia has allegedly tried so many times to arrest him, Browder wrote a whole book on these attempts Red Notice
"It's all very scary," Browder said in the past Autumn NPRs Rachel Martin. "It's not just arrest, you could try to assassinate me on the street, you made these threats, so I'm really Putin's foreign enemy number one, and they'd like to erase me in one way or another."
Spanish law enforcement officials said the officials let Browder go after "INTERPOL Spain had verified that the arrest warrant issued by the Russian authorities was invalid."
"An arrest warrant has a date limit, and when it expires, it must be deleted from the computer program, and in this case, Interpol has not deleted it," clarified a police spokesman for Agence France-Presse.
But Interpol denies that there even was an official Red Bulletin
"There is none Red Notice to Mr. Bill Browder, "The international law enforcement agency told NPR in a brief e-mail message, adding that" Browder is not being searched through INTERPOL channels. "
The agency, which has 192 member states, did not explain further.
While Russia has "repeatedly asked Mr. Browder's arrest by Interpol," the New York Times reports, "… his requests were repeatedly denied.In 2013, Interpol said in a rare and sharp rebuke that Russia's request, Arresting Mr Browder is "predominantly political."
It therefore remains unclear how the arrest warrant has arisen and attracted the attention of Spanish law enforcement agencies.
In any event, Browder landed safely in London on Wednesday and stated that he was "no worse off for wear and tear." 19659008] "Preparing for Further Magnitsky Sanctions Advocacy Next Week" he tweeted .