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Swiss ready to help Russia over legal case

Switzerland is prepared to release more documents to the Russian legal authorities investigating an alleged fraud involving billionaire Boris Berezovsky.

The Russians accuse Berezovsky and a former deputy director-general of the Russian airline, Aeroflot, Nikolay Glushkov, of defrauding the company.

They are said to have siphoned off funds from the airline's foreign transactions via the Lausanne-based accounting company, Andava, and financial group, Forus.

The documents in question are an expert report and a financial analysis of Forus, originally drawn up in connection with a case being prepared against the group in Switzerland which has since been dropped.

In a ruling released on Monday, the Federal Criminal Court in Bellinzona said that Forus had failed to show what information in the reports was not of interest to the Russian prosecutors. Nor had it proved that the proceedings in Russia against Berezovsky and Glushkov were politically motivated.

It recalled that in July 2008 a Bern lawyer received a suspended sentence and was fined for assisting Berezovsky in the scheme.

Forus can appeal against the ruling to Switzerland's highest court, the Federal Tribunal in Lausanne.

A Swiss investigation against Berezovsky on suspicion of money laundering has been underway since 2003.

Berezovsky has been granted asylum in Britain, where a similar application from Glushkov is under consideration. and agencies

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