The case of the founder of the Hermitage Capital fund William Browder for tax evasion was transferred to the Tverskoi Court of Moscow, but he is not going to take part in it and withdrew his lawyer.
In 2013, Browder was already convicted in absentia by a Russian court for nine years in a tax fraud case.
“Neither Browder, nor I, nor Cherkasov (the second person involved in the case), nor his lawyer are involved in the case,” said the lawyer.
He added that this was the position of his principal, the lawyer sent an official notice to the court explaining the reasons.
“The lawyer on duty, appointed by the court in the procedure of Article 51 of the Criminal Procedure Code, is sitting in the case right now,” Antipov said.
According to the files of the court, the next hearing on the case is scheduled for September 7.
William Browder was the largest foreign portfolio investor in Russia in 1995-2007. In Russia, he was sentenced in absentia to nine years in a criminal case on financial fraud. Britain previously refused to extradite a businessman who, after returning to the United States, openly criticized Moscow.
Browder is charged with the organization of tax evasion, the organization of deliberate bankruptcy and an attempt to breach the duties of the tax agent. According to the lawyer, the accusation includes episodes of bankruptcy of the Dalny Step’ company and the withdrawal of shares of Gazprom company abroad. The investigation estimated the total damage from the actions of Browder and his business partner Ivan Cherkasov in the case of deliberate bankruptcy and tax crimes of 3.5 billion rubles.
In February, the Tverskoi Court of Moscow authorized the arrest in absentia of Cherkasov and Browder and established a period of detention within two months from the date of their transfer to the law enforcement agencies of the Russian Federation in the event of extradition or deportation or from the time of their actual detention in Russia.
Browder and Cherkasov are on the international wanted list and live in London.