MOSCOW, May 8 (RAPSI) - The defense of Hermitage Capital CEO William Browder has appealed his arrest in absentia, the Tverskoy District Court spokesperson Yekaterina Korotova told RAPSI.

"The court has received an appeal from Browder's lawyer asking the court to reverse the decision," she said. The hearing has not been scheduled yet.

Moscow's Tverskoy District Court ordered Browder's arrest in absentia in April, thus granting the investigators' motion. The investigators stated that Browder had repeatedly ignored their summons. Russia's Interior Ministry said earlier that Browder will be put on the international wanted list once the court authorizes his arrest.

Browder has been accused of illegally buying Gazprom stock when foreign ownership of the world's largest natural gas producer was restricted.

He is also on trial in absentia alongside Russian lawyer Sergei Magnitsky on charges of embezzlement. Investigators claim that they embezzled hundreds of millions of rubles from the federal budget by manipulating tax returns between September and October 2007.

Meanwhile, Hermitage Capital maintains that it paid 5.4 billion rubles ($180 million) in taxes, but that the money was stolen by corporate raiders with the help of law enforcement officials.

The prosecution against Magnitsky, who died in a Moscow pretrial detention center in 2009, has been attributed to this theft. The case was closed after his death, only to be reopened later. Under Russian law, a person can be prosecuted after his death.

In March Browder announced that Hermitage Capital would cease its operations in Russia.