Putin critic Bill Browder arrested in Madrid

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U.S.-born British investor Bill Browder, a prominent critic of Russian President Vladimir Putin who was sentenced in absentia to 9 years in prison, has been arrested in Spain on a Russian arrest warrant.

Browder said in a tweet just after 9:30 a.m. local time on Wednesday that he had been arrested in Madrid on a Russian arrest warrant through Interpol, the international police agency.

“In the back of the Spanish police car going to the station on the Russian arrest warrant. They won’t tell me which station,” Browder said in a tweet, which include a photo taken from the back of a police car.

Other details about the arrest were not immediately available.

In December, Browder was sentenced in Russia to 9 years in prison after he was found guilty in absentia for deliberate bankruptcy and tax evasion. Browder, a British citizen who was born in the U.S., claims the case against him is politically motivated.

Two months prior to his sentencing, Interpol blocked a Russian arrest warrant for Browder, saying it was found to be “non-compliant” after a review by the agency’s General Secretariat. Other details were not released at the time.

Browder has worked in the past with Russian lawyer Sergei Magnitsky, who died in detention in 2009, sparking international outrage over claims that his imprisonment was politically motivated.

Browder has since led an international campaign to impose additional sanctions against Russian officials and he’s been widely credited for the creation of the Magnitsky Act in the United States.

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