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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Interpol Unblocks Warrants

Interpol has backed Russian arrest warrants for self-exiled tycoon Boris Berezovsky and several other criminal suspects wanted in Russia, Itar-Tass reported.

Deputy Interior Minister Andrei Novikov said Interpol's move would provide Russia with "additional arguments for nations giving shelter to those who are being sought," Itar-Tass reported late Thursday.

An official at Interpol's Paris headquarters said in a telephone interview that the agency had just ended the legal review of its so-called "red notices" related to Russia -- Interpol notifications to member countries that the country in question has issued an arrest warrant.

The legal review of the notices, conducted following a legal challenge, has concluded that there are no problems with them, said the Interpol official, who spoke on condition of anonymity. He said that the hold on the notices was therefore lifted. The official would not say on what basis the Russian warrants had been challenged.

Itar-Tass said the Interpol red notices referred to Berezovsky, his associate Yuly Dubov, Yukos shareholder Leonid Nevzlin, Yukos chief legal expert Mikhail Gololobov and Menatep bank department head Natalya Chernysheva.

Alex Goldfarb, director of the New York-based Foundation for Civil Liberties, said that Berezovsky, who funds his group, would now have to be more careful in his travel, clearing his trips in advance with the authorities of respective countries.

"Unfortunately, in this case Interpol has allowed itself to be used as a vehicle for political persecution," Goldfarb said by telephone. "It undermines Interpol's mission and its credibility."