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Borodin claims to be victim of political conspiracy

Pavel Borodin says Swiss prosecutors are unwittingly accomplices in a political conspiracy against him

(Keystone Archive)

A former top Kremlin aide, Pavel Borodin, who is awaiting extradition to Switzerland on suspicion of money laundering, says he is the victim of a Russian political conspiracy, and Swiss prosecutors are unwittingly helping his persecutors.

In an interview with Monday's New York Times, Borodin described the charges against him as motivated by "pure politics", but declined to name the people he says are plotting against him.

He added that Swiss prosecutors seeking to extradite him from New York are unwitting accomplices in the political conspiracy against him.

Borodin was arrested in New York last month on a Swiss warrant, while travelling to the United States to attend President George W Bush's inauguration.

Swiss prosecutors say they have evidence that Borodin had access to Swiss bank accounts containing around $25 million (SFr41.75 million), and that the money has now disappeared.

They suspect that Borodin received the money in kickbacks from a Swiss-based firm, Mabetex, in return for granting lucrative contracts to renovate the Kremlin.

Russian prosecutors who were also investigating the case dropped their charges against Borodin last December, citing lack of evidence.

Borodin was for seven years Kremlin property chief under former Russian president, Boris Yeltsin. He was removed from the post by the current president, Vladimir Putin.



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