It’s not just that Russia itself has abused Interpol’s system of issuing notices for arrest warrants to the national police of member states, known as red notices. “There is literally no one in the world who bears a more direct and personal responsibility for Russia’s abuse of Interpol than Alexander Prokopchuk,” writes the Heritage Foundation’s Ted Bromund. Prokopchuk heads the government bureau that sends law-enforcement information from Russia to Interpol.
The most famous victim of this kind of abuse is the hedge fund manager William Browder. Browder’s lawyer, Sergei Magnitsky, died in a Russian prison in 2009 after exposing embezzlement by government officials. Browder then lobbied, tirelessly and successfully, for the Magnitsky Act, which imposes sanctions against government officials who commit grave human-rights abuses. Russia has issued red notices for Browder, an American-born citizen of the U.K.
Meanwhile, Russia has failed to arrest the many officials already named and shamed through these Magnitsky sanctions. In fact on the eve of the Interpol vote, a Russian prosecutor filed new charges against Browder, accusing him of running a multinational money-laundering operation. In an added flourish, Russian prosecutors said it was likely that Browder himself had poisoned his own lawyer.