Bill Browder, CEO of Hermitage Capital Management, sits down with Fareed Zakaria to discuss how the Magnitsky Act, a US law that punishes Russians who are seen as human rights abusers, may relate to the Russia investigation.
ZAKARIA: Why does – why does Putin care so much personally in your view about this Magnitsky act?
WILLIAM BROWDER: Well, Putin cares personally for two reasons. First, and most importantly, Putin received some of the money from the 230 million dollar crime. We know that. We‘ve-
ZAKARIA: -you know that how?
BROWDER: We’ve tracked it because in the panama papers -- we’ve learned from the panama papers which came out last year – that a, that a man named Sergei Roldugin, who’s a famous cellist – was – received two billion dollars of largess from the Russian Government. And what we learned then from those panama papers is the names of his companies and we were able to trace some of the money from the Magnitsky crime – from the crime that Sergei Magnitsky uncovered – going to Sergei Roldugin. And so basically Putin’s nominee – or his trustee – received money from the Magnitsky crime. And so Putin understands that at some point in time – he will be targeted by the Magnitsky sanctions. And as I’ve said on this show, Putin is the richest man in the world. I would estimate he’s worth 200 billion dollars, and much much of that money is held by nominees offshore. And that money will eventually be frozen under the Magnitsky act if he ever loses his power as President of Russia.