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16 July, 2024
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Cyprus won’t snub Russia in Browder affair

Nicosia judge says Republic of Cyprus authorities can legally cooperate with Russia


A Cypriot court has denied a request by Bill Browder’s attorney who was seeking a ban on local authorities providing any judicial assistance to Russia against his client.

The Nicosia District Court ruled on Friday that the plaintiff failed to meet all three prerequisites that would have warranted Cyprus banning agencies from working together with Russia.

Russian authorities, who have accused the co-founder of Hermitage Capital Management, of tax fraud also say Browder is a threat to national security.

But Browder says Russian authorities are after him because he exposed corruption, arguing that an international warrant for his arrest is politically motivated.

The judge noted that Browder’s team never claimed that they have suffered irreparable damages from previous requests

Christos Pourgourides, the lawyer who represents the American-born financier, argued that Cyprus authorities working with Russia amounted to human rights as well as Cyprus constitution violations.

Pourgourides attributed the Browder affair to a personal vendetta between his client and Russian President Vladimir Putin, saying the Russian Federation has resorted to Soviet-era methods to construct a bogus criminal case against his client.

But a Nicosia judge on Friday said “it has not been demonstrated how, in case the Republic of Cyprus does go ahead with applying the honouring the specific request for judicial assistance from the Russian Federation, the plaintiffs would suffer irreparable damages.”

The judge noted that Browder’s team never claimed that they have suffered irreparable damages from previous requests.

According to CNA News Agency, two of the three criteria were met in the case, while the court sided with the state defence attorney’s argument that the third criterion did not apply.

“She wondered what was this irreparable damage that the plaintiffs have suffered from previous requests, which they don’t want to suffer in the future?” said the court citing the state attorney for the defence.

The court’s dismissal of the motion means Republic of Cyprus authorities may proceed without legal hurdles in providing judicial assistance to Russia in the matter of prosecuting Browder. 

Cyprus  |  Browder  |  court  |  Nicosia  |  Russia

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