On Monday, it became known that, according to the Prosecutor General’s Office, the Ministry of Internal Affairs opened a criminal case about the organization of the criminal community by the founder of the Hermitage Capital fund, William Browder, and the Investigation Committee of Russia (SKR) checks him for involvement in the organization of a series of murders, including the fund’s auditor Sergei Magnitsky and accomplice accomplice Alexander Perepelichnogo Crimes, according to the version of supervision and investigation, could be committed with the use of poisons. Earlier, the UK coroner service found in the body of Mr. Perepel'nykh poison of plant origin.
On November 16, the Investigation Department of the Ministry of Internal Affairs opened a criminal case against William Browder under Part 1 of Art. 210 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation (organization of the criminal community), Nikolai Atmonev, adviser to the prosecutor general, said on Monday. According to him, the transnational criminal community was created back in 1997 "to commit serious economic crimes both in Russia and in other states." At the same time, Mr. Atmonev noted that both legal entities and individuals had already been established, through which "tens and hundreds of millions of dollars" were transferred to dummy accounts in Cyprus, Latvia and Switzerland, and then cashed out. “The investigation regards this as the legalization of proceeds from crime,” he stressed.
According to the official representative of the Prosecutor General’s Office Alexander Kurenno, William Browder and his accomplices for several years donated about $ 2 million from illegally withdrawn money from Russia from the US Democratic Party for the election campaign. As Mr. Kurennoy reported, they know that in 2008, through the fund of brothers Robert, Dirk and Daniel Ziff, the American “democrats” were allocated $ 400 thousand, and in 2016 - $ 1.2 million.
In the near future, the Interior Ministry is going to put William Browder on the international wanted list, while insisting that the acts he committed fall under the UN Convention on Counteracting Transnational Crime. In this regard, Russia expects to achieve the arrest of assets of Mr. Browder and his associates in other countries. Recall that the Tverskoy District Court of Moscow for tax frauds William Browder was twice convicted in absentia for a total term of nine years, but Interpol refused to find him, referring to the fact that the criminal prosecution of the founder of Hermitage Capital is politically related. At this time, the investigation and supervision expect that they will be able to convince the international police authority in the absence of a political component in this matter.
At the same time, the Prosecutor General’s Office initiated the criminal prosecution of Mr. Browder for a no less serious crime - the organization of the murder (part 2 of article 105 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation) in the London suburb in 2012, financier Alexander Perepelichny. According to the original version of the British police, a citizen of Russia, Perepelychny died during a morning run from acute heart failure. However, during a hearing at the Surrey Coroner's Court, it was announced that the financier had killed the rare plant poison Gelsemium elegans.
From the materials sent to the Chief Investigation Department of the TFR for making a procedural decision, it follows that Mr. Perepelichny “had information and documents” about the involvement of William Browder and his associates in the embezzlement from the Russian budget of 5.4 billion rubles. and assisted in the withdrawal of these funds abroad. Moreover, the Russian law enforcement agencies found out that shortly before the death of Alexander Perepelichny, representatives of William Browder met with him in the UK, who wanted to receive these documents. Mr Perepelichniy could be eliminated "in order to avoid," Mr Browder, "expose for crimes committed on the territory of Russia and abroad." The relevant criminal case has not yet been opened in the SSU TFR - a pre-investigation check is being carried out. If the office of Alexander Bastrykin will move the materials of the Prosecutor General's Office, then Mr. Browder may be suspected of involvement in the fourth murder.
Now the CGS TFR investigates under Art. 105 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation case, according to which Oktay Hasanov, Valery Kurochkin and Sergey Korobeynikov, who were complicit in the theft committed by Mr. Browder, were recognized as violent in 2007–2008. According to the Prosecutor General’s Office, all those who died after opening the body were found to have a “sabotage chemical” containing “water-soluble aluminum”. He was also found in the body of the auditor Sergei Magnitsky, who died in a prison hospital in 2009, but his death has not yet been qualified as murder. At the same time, Nikolai Atmonev noted that “William Browder was more interested in Magnitsky’s death”.
The Russian lawyer of William Browder, Alexander Antipov, told Kommersant that he intends to “find the investigator handling the criminal community case” in order to appeal against the decision to initiate it. According to the lawyer, the investigator violated the right to defend the founder of Hermitage Capital, without informing him or his representative about the criminal prosecution.
According to William Browder himself, his accusation of the murder of the auditor Sergey Magnitsky is nothing more than the answer of Russia to the Skripale case. “In response to the Violin poisoning, they accuse me of four murders, including the poisoning of Sergei Magnitsky,” he said on his Twitter page, believing that the accusations were made on the eve of the alleged expansion of sanctions under the so-called Magnitsky law.
In turn, presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov noted that the criminal case against William Browder is not related to the “Skripaley case,” since the criminal prosecution of the founder of Hermitage Capital for the killings began several years before the poisoning incident in the UK. “A new episode has been added, our law enforcement agencies are working, they are sharing materials with their foreign partners. Another thing is that an adequate response is not always obtained, ”Mr. Peskov said to journalists, obviously, bearing in mind that the UK refuses to cooperate with Russia both in the“ Skripale case ”and in other high-profile crimes. According to Kommersant, official London either responds with polite refusals or does not respond at all to requests for information.