Bill Browder, a financier and vocal Putin critic, was arrested Wednesday in Madrid, and detained for more than an hour, over a Russian warrant issued through Interpol, he told FOX Business on Thursday.
He said he was released because Russia had obtained an active Interpol Red Notice, which informs member countries that a person is wanted based on an arrest warrant issued by a country, and also because he live-tweeted the whole event.
“I am being processed in the police station. They then make some inquiries to Interpol to let them know that I had been arrested,” he said to Maria Bartiromo on “Mornings with Maria.” “And it was at that point that someone senior at Interpol intervened and said, ‘Wait a second, we can’t arrest this guy.’ This guy is being targeted by Putin. This is a politically motivated arrest warrant and they canceled it.”
But it wasn’t the first time Russia had issued an Interpol Red Notice, according to Browder.
“This was the sixth Interpol arrest warrant Russia has issued for me in retaliation for my justice campaign,” he said.
Browder, who became Russia’s leading investor by being a shareholder activist who exposed corruption, was in Spain pushing lawmakers to adopt an equivalent to the 2012 Magnitsky Act, a U.S. law intended to punish prominent Russian officials responsible for the death of tax accountant Sergei Magnitsky in a Moscow prison in 2009.
“There are seven countries including the U.K. where I sit right now, last week, I was in Spain working on the Magnitsky yesterday in Spain, which is where I was arrested,” he added.