London Court Issues Arrest Warrant For Russian Investigator

The UK High Court has issued an arrest warrant for Pavel Karpov, the former investigator for especially important cases of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Russia, for contempt of court. Major Karpov was an investigator in the Sergei Magnitsky case.

William Browder, the head of Hermitage Capital investment fund, and Jamison Firestone, partner at the accounting firm Firestone Duncan, accused Major Karpov of falsifying the criminal case against them, involvement in the theft of $230 million through falsification of tax declarations and the death of Sergei Magnitsky in a detention facility in Moscow.

In 2013, Pavel Karpov initiated a defamation suit in London. The court refused to consider the case on its merits on the grounds that it was not the right forum. In particular, the court ruled that Major Karpov does not have a reputation in England to defend.

Also, the court ordered Major Karpov to pay Hermitage Capital over £850,000 in legal costs of which £650,000 remains unpaid.

In 2016, the fund applied to court seeking to recover this money from Major Karpov. Karpov did not attend the hearing. The court sent several notifications to Karpov and then gave him a suspended three-month sentence. After Karpov failed to attend another hearing last December, Mr. Justice Haddon-Cave ordered the arrest of Pavel Karpov

This means that the former investigator of Russia's Ministry of Internal Affairs may be detained in all countries with which the UK has agreements on legal assistance.

In 2013, the Moscow Tverskoi District Court sentenced Browder in absentia to nine years in prison for tax evasion and illegal use of privileges intended for people with disabilities. The court also found the late Magnitsky guilty of that crime.