Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Browder Another Ahmed Chalabi Type Swindler/Hustler

Telegraph |  Bill Browder has described himself as "Putin's No 1 enemy". Now the Russian president had added weight to that claim by singling out the British investor at his controversial summit with Donald Trump on Monday. 

The UK-based financier appeared to be part of what the US president called an "incredible offer" by Vladimir Putin to assist American investigators in their prosecution of 12 Russian intelligence officers accused of hacking crimes during the 2016 presidential election season.

"He offered to have the people working on the case come and work with their investigators with respect to the 12 people," Mr Trump told reporters during a news conference in Helsinki following his joint summit with Mr Putin.

The special counsel investigating potential coordination between the Trump campaign and the Kremlin charged a dozen Russian military intelligence officers on Friday with hacking the Democratic National Committee and the Hillary Clinton campaign and then releasing the stolen communications online as part of a sweeping conspiracy to meddle in the election.

While Mr Trump did not elaborate on the Russian leader's "incredible offer," Mr Putin himself suggested that special counsel Robert Mueller could ask Russian law enforcement agencies to interrogate the suspects. He said US officials could request to be present at such questioning in line with a 1999 agreement on mutual legal assistance in criminal cases.

However, there was a catch: Russia would expect the US to return the favour and cooperate with interrogations of people “who have something to do with illegal actions on the territory of Russia”. Mr Putin highlighted the case of Mr Browder.

"No journalist had asked about me," Mr Browder wrote in Time. "He just brought me up out of the blue ...To my mind, this can only mean that he is seriously rattled."

The American-born Jewish businessman, who has held British citizenship for the past two decades, was last year sentenced by a Russian court to nine years in prison on fraud and tax evasion charges.

More pertinently, he was also the driving force behind The Magnitsky Act, a 2012 US law targeting Russian officials over human rights abuses. It was named after Sergei Magnitsky, his lawyer whose investigations in 2008 uncovered a web of alleged tax fraud and corruption involving 23 companies and $230 million. He later died in Russian custody.