- Title: Putin foe, Bill Browder, warns U.S. congressional panel of Russian influence
- Date: 27th July 2017
- Summary: WASHINGTON, D.C., UNITED STATES (JULY 27, 2017) (UNRESTRICTED POOL) WIDE OF SENATE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE PANEL AT HEARING (SOUNDBITE) (English) HERMITAGE CAPITAL CEO WILLIAM BROWDER SAYING: "In addition to this being morally reprehensible, none of these people registered as foreign agents under the Foreign Agents Registration Act and, so, my firm put together a complaint to the Department of Justice where we listed out what they did, who did what, and the fact that they weren't registered with Foreign Agent Registration Act and filed that in July of 2016. And I'm here today to tell the story, to clarify any of the details, because I believe that the fact that these people were able to run around on Putin's agenda and without any transparency about who they're working for is something that needs to stop in the future. And, I think that the rules governing this thing should be strengthened." SENATOR DIANNE FEINSTEIN AT HEARING (SOUNDBITE) (English) HERMITAGE CAPITAL CEO WILLIAM BROWDER SAYING: "Vladimir Putin, I believe to be the richest man in the world. I believe he's worth $200 billion. That money is held all over the world in banks in America and all over. The purpose of Putin's regime has been to commit terrible crimes in order to get that money. And he doesn't want to lose that money by having it frozen. So he personally is at risk of the Magnitsky Act. It's a very personal venal issue which is why -- the first reason -- why he's so upset. The second reason is that in order to get that 200 billion he's had to instruct a lot of people working for him -- let's say, 10,000 people working for him -- to do terrible things: to arrest, kidnap, torture and kill, just to take people's properties away. And, as a result, the only way he could get people to do such terrible things is to say if you do these terrible things there will be no consequence. You will enjoy absolute impunity and, as a result of the Magnitsky Act, he can no longer guarantee absolute impunity because all of a sudden we've created consequences in the West. SENATOR LINDSEY GRAHAM AT HEARING (SOUNDBITE) (English) HERMITAGE CAPITAL CEO WILLIAM BROWDER SAYING: "Yes. So, what you need to understand about the Russians is there is no ideology at all. They're just in the business of--, Vladimir Putin is in the business of trying to create chaos everywhere." WIDESHOT OF PANEL
- Embargoed: 10th August 2017 17:56
- Keywords: Browder Russia Trump Putin Magnitsky Act
- Location: WASHINGTON, D.C., UNITED STATES
- City: WASHINGTON, D.C., UNITED STATES
- Country: USA
- Topics: Government/Politics
- Reuters ID: LVA0016RHUX53
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: William Browder, the financier whose promotion of the Sergei Magnitsky Act has rankled the government of Russian President Vladmir Putin, told a U.S. Senate panel on Thursday (July 27) that Putin is attempting to create chaos in the United States in an effort to reverse the sanctions legislation imposed on certain Russian associates implicated in the death of Sergei Magnitsky, a Russian investigator who peered deeply into the dark corners of dealing of Russia's oligarchs.
Browder, a founder of the Hermitage Capital Management fund which specialized in Russia investments, employed whistleblower Sergei Magnitsky as a lawyer and has spearheaded an international campaign to expose corruption and human rights violations in Russia after Magnitsky's death in custody.
Magnitsky was arrested in 2008 shortly after alleging that Russian officials were involved in a $230 million tax fraud case, and died in prison nearly a year later while awaiting trial, causing an international uproar.
After lobbying by Browder, the U.S. Congress passed the Magnitsky Act, which bars Russians believed to have been involved in his death or other severe human rights abuses from entering the United States, and freezes their assets there.
"The purpose of Putin's regime has been to commit terrible crimes in order to get that money. And he doesn't want to lose that money by having it frozen. So he personally is at risk of the Magnitsky Act. It's a very personal venal issue which is why- the first reason- why he's so upset," Browder told the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee.
- Copyright Holder: POOL (CAN SELL)
- Copyright Notice: (c) Copyright Thomson Reuters 2017. Open For Restrictions - http://about.reuters.com/fulllegal.asp
- Usage Terms/Restrictions: None