Borodin returns to Switzerland on Wednesday

Pavel Borodin is expected to arrive in Geneva on Wednesday evening

A former Kremlin aide, Pavel Borodin, who is facing charges of money laundering in Switzerland, is due to arrive in Geneva on Wednesday for questioning. There had been speculation that he might not return to answer the charges.

This content was published on May 16, 2001 minutes

Borodin is expected to spend Wednesday night at the Russian mission. He has been summoned to appear before the Geneva judge, Daniel Devaud, at 9am on Thursday.

His lawyer, Dominique Poncet, said his client would be there for the hearing: "Unless something totally unexpected happens, we are sure he will come."

Poncet added that Borodin would be taking a Swissair flight from Moscow to Geneva. He said the former Kremlin property manager had decided at the last minute to use the Swiss carrier rather than an Aeroflot flight as planned.

The airport authorities said no special security arrangements had been made for his arrival and that he would be treated like a normal passenger.

Borodin's lawyers had previously cast doubt on when their client might return, citing health reasons. The Russian was treated for heart trouble during his time in custody in the United States and in Switzerland.

Borodin was extradited to Switzerland from the US at the beginning of April to face questions about the disappearance of $25 million.

The Geneva authorities believe the cash came from two Swiss construction companies - Mercata and Mabetex - in exchange for lucrative contracts to renovate the Kremlin.

Borodin spent six days in Switzerland before being freed on bail of SFr5 million ($2.85 million), which was paid for by the Russian authorities.

At the time, the Geneva prosecutor, Bernard Bertossa, made no secret of his opposition to the decision to allow Borodin to leave Switzerland. Bertossa said he was "not optimistic" that Borodin would return.

Both Borodin and the two Swiss construction firms involved, Mabetex and Mercata, have denied any wrongdoing.

The Russian authorities dropped their own inquiry last year, saying they had insufficient evidence to proceed.

swissinfo with agencies

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