William Browder (born 1964) is the Chief Executive Officer and co-founder of the investment fund Hermitage Capital Management. The other night he sat down with Charlie Rose and proceeded to share his shocking and devastating story about his experience in Moscow that led to the imprisonment, torture, and eventual death of his lawyer Sergei Magnitsky.
Although Browder was a supporter of Russian president Vladimir Putin, in 2006, after ten years doing business in the country, he was blacklisted by the Russian government as a “threat to national security” and denied entry to the country. The Economist has accused the Russian government of blacklisting Browder because he interfered with the flow of money to “corrupt bureaucrats and their businessmen accomplices”. And when you interfere with the corrupt Russian government your life instantly becomes a living hell. The story that Bill Browder shares with Charlie Rose is so unbelievable it’s hard to imagine that something like this is still possible in 2012.
As Browder explains, his experience has enraged members of the U.S. Congress who are pushing through The Magnitsky Law, named in honor Sergei, which would impose a visa ban and asset freeze against the officials responsible not only for Magnitsky’s murder but also for other human rights abuses, including against individuals who “expose illegal activity” carried out by Russian officials or who seek to “defend or promote internationally recognized human rights and freedoms.” This includes journalists who have been murdered when they have dug too close to powerful officials or oligarchs. It includes human rights activists who have been beaten and crippled or killed for exposing the mistreatment of their fellow Russians.
To learn more about how organized crime has permeated every facet of the Russian Government be sure to visit Russian-Untouchables.com. You can also read Bill Browder’s full story in his own words by reading his gut-wrenching personal story which he wrote for The Financial Times in 2009 entitled “They Killed My Lawyer“.
TO WATCH CHARLIE ROSE’S INTERVIEW WITH BILL BRODER FAST FORWARD TO THE 41:36 MARK IN THE VIDEO PLAYER BELOW.