Imprisoned for years on Putin’s whim

Imagine: it’s 16 December 2004 and you are a middle-ranking banker living in Moscow – prosperous but ordinary, a long way below oligarch level. You are looking forward to a New Year’s trip with your family to Prague – the hotel is booked; your young son is excited. Your phone rings while you are at lunch: an investigator whom you’ve never heard of asks you to come and answer a few questions. You ask if tomorrow will do. ‘No, you must come today,’ insists the caller. ‘It’ll take around 20 minutes.’ What do you do? If this were the beginning of a thriller, Vladimir Pereverzin would have instantly made his