THE ADVOCATE 931
VOL. 76 PART 6 NOVEMBER 2018
civilians who had been tortured, as well as the journalist Anna
Politkovskaya, who had covered abuses of the Russian army in Chechnya
and had already been gunned down in 2006.
This is the general fate of those who speak out against injustices in
Putin’s Russia. The reach of the regime’s assassins is not limited to Russia’s
borders, as was shown by the brazen killing of former FSB officer turned
critic Alexander Litvinenko, who was poisoned with polonium in London in
2006. Russian banker Alexander Perepilichny was instrumental in providing
Browder’s team with information about enormous sums of money held
in Swiss bank accounts by the Russian tax officials involved in the fraudulent
refund. In 2009, out of fear for his safety, he and his family moved to
England. In 2012 he was found dead, for no visible reason, close to his home
in Surrey. Traces of a deadly poisonous plant, Gelsemium elegans, were
found in his stomach. More recently we have seen the attempted poisoning
of former FSB agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter in Salisbury.
Browder has continued his efforts to have various jurisdictions introduce
Magnitsky Act–style legislation and has had considerable success. The EU,
Canada, the U.K. and the Baltic states have all passed versions of Magnitsky
legislation, and there is a major current effort to have the Netherlands do
Browder’s campaign to have a sweeping global web of sanctions directed
at the Russian nationals involved in the Russian tax fraud and Magnitsky’s
death has made him an ongoing target.
It is now well documented that the U.S. Magnitsky legislation was the
central agenda item of the infamous June 2016 Trump Tower meeting
involving Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya, Donald Trump Jr., Paul
Manafort and Jared Kushner. As part of the Russian effort to have the U.S.
revoke the Magnitsky legislation, Veselnitskaya sought to discredit Browder,
accusing him of tax evasion in Russia, among other things.
As recently as May of this year, Browder was arrested in Madrid by Spanish
police acting on an Interpol notice based on a warrant issued by Russia.
Fortunately, he was quickly released after Spanish authorities looked into
the matter, but his detention highlighted the ongoing danger he faces, especially
Browder’s status as a high-level target became glaringly apparent during
the meeting between Trump and Putin in Helsinki on July 16, 2018. During
both their private meeting and the press conference afterwards, Putin
offered to have Special Counsel Robert Mueller question those Russian officials
named as having interfered in the U.S. election, in return for a similar
invitation for Russian prosecutors to question Browder and Browder’s asso-