The Fifth Estate
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Bill Browder is a financier and political activist whose campaign to punish human rights abusers has made him some powerful enemies, including Russian President Vladimir Putin. In this conversation with Sally Warhaft, he’ll discuss his encounters with the Russian state.
In 2005, Browder was based in Moscow. His company was among the biggest foreign investors in Russia. But he exposed corruption in state-owned Russian companies and was deported – declared a ‘threat to national security’. His lawyer, Sergei Magnitsky, subsequently uncovered a US $230 million tax fraud perpetrated by Russian government officials. Magnitsky was imprisoned without trial and tortured; he died in jail in 2009.
Since then, Browder has written a book, Red Notice, that tells his story, and has led the Global Magnitsky Justice Campaign to convince governments around the world to impose targeted visa bans and asset freezes on human rights abusers and highly corrupt officials. The United States and Canada have both adopted versions of the Magnitsky Act, and Browder wants Australia to be next.
He’ll discuss high finance, kleptocracy and justice.
Sally Warhaft is a Melbourne broadcaster, anthropologist and writer. She is the host of The Fifth Estate, the Wheeler Centre’s live series focusing on journalism, politics, media, and international relations, and The Leap Year, a Wheeler Centre podcast about Australians' lives in the fog of the Covid-19 pandemic. She is a former editor of the Monthly magazine and the author of the bestselling book Well May We Say: The Speeches that Made Australia.
Sally is a regular host and commentator on ABC radio and has a PhD in anthropology. She did her fieldwork in Mumbai, India, living by the seashore with the local fishing community.
Bill Browder is the founder and CEO of Hermitage Capital Management, head of the Global Magnitsky Justice Campaign and author of Red Notice.
William Browder was the largest foreign investor in Russia until 2005, when he was denied entry to the country and declared 'a threat to national security' for exposing corruption in Russian state-owned companies.
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This long-running series is a mainstay of the Wheeler Centre’s programme, and of public conversation in Melbourne. Our in-house news anchor Sally Warhaft hosts guests from the world of politics, culture, journalism and international relations to dissect pressing questions of policy, power and public affairs. It's a chance to give complex local and global issues the thoughtful discussion they deserve.
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