UK law enforcement halts cooperation with Russia on Browder case

World December 21, 2018, 17:23

William Browder, the Hermitage Capital Management founder, is accused of establishing an organized crime syndicate

MOSCOW, December 21. /TASS/. Britain’s law enforcement agencies terminated all cooperation with Russia over the case of William Browder, the Hermitage Capital Management founder, who is accused of establishing an organized crime syndicate, said a prosecutor from Moscow’s Tverskoy District Court, which is examining the case files of the British financier’s arrest in absentia, on Friday.

"Britain’s law enforcement agencies discontinued any cooperation on the Browder case with us. We cannot receive any files or answers to our inquiries from them," the prosecutor said.

Earlier on Friday, TASS reported that Browder had been charged in absentia with forming a criminal network, which incurred damages to the state to the tune of 10 bln rubles ($148 mln), the court said.

Browder is charged under Part 1 of Section 210 of Russia's Criminal Code ("Organizing a crime syndicate"). On November 19, the Russian Prosecutor General’s Office said criminal proceedings had been initiated against him over organizing a crime syndicate. It also said Browder would be put on an international wanted list, and his assets would be impounded and later fully confiscated.

Browder was convicted in absentia in Russia twice. On July 11, 2013, Moscow’s Tverskoy District Court found him guilty of large-scale tax evasion to the tune of 522 mln rubles ($9 million at the current exchange rate) and sentenced him to nine years in jail. That verdict also barred him from doing business for two years.

In July 2014, Russia put Browder on an international wanted list. The Russian Prosecutor General’s Office has repeatedly asked Interpol to issue an arrest warrant for him.

On December 29, 2017, Moscow’s Tverskoy District Court sentenced Browder to nine years behind bars in absentia, having found him guilty of tax evasion to the tune of more than 3 bln rubles ($45.5 mln) and bankruptcy fraud. His business partner Ivan Cherkasov was sentenced to a similar prison term. The court also upheld a lawsuit against Browder and Cherkasov worth 4.2 bln rubles ($64 mln) and barred them from doing business in Russia for three years.

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