The man behind the Magnitsky Act denounced the White House for considering swapping him in exchange for U.S. access to a dozen Russians indicted for hacking America’s 2016 presidential election.
Bill Browder called the idea “appalling and atrocious.”
Vladimir Putin proposed the exchange at Monday’s Helsinki summit. The White House said President Trump was considering the offer.
“Putin wants to torture me to death,” Browder said. “He hates me because I found his Achilles heel.”
Former U.S. ambassador to Russia, Michael McFaul, said the proposed swap is a “ridiculous request from Putin.”
Browder is the CEO of London-based Hermitage Capital Management, once the biggest foreign investor in Russia.
He was born in the United States but is now a UK citizen.
In 2009, his lawyer in Moscow, 36-year-old Sergei Magnitsky, died in police custody after uncovering a $230 million tax fraud against the Russian treasury.
Through Browder’s efforts, the United States enacted the Magnitsky Act in 2012. It imposes sanctions on kleptocrats and human-rights abusers.
OFAC has publicly listed 49 people subject to travel bans and asset freezes under the Magnitsky Act. Several Putin cronies are on the list.
Here’s what Browder said Wednesday:
Richard L. Cassin is the publisher and editor of the FCPA Blog.