Borodin summoned to appear before Geneva court

Bernard Bertossa (left) wants Pavel Borodin back in Switzerland

The former Kremlin adviser, Pavel Borodin, who is wanted in Switzerland on charges of money laundering, has been summoned to appear before the court in Geneva on May 17.

This content was published on May 3, 2001 - 18:38

Interfax, the Russian news agency, reported that Borodin's aide, Yvgeny Krovopuskov, said that the former Kremlin official would return to Geneva for the hearing.

"He has nothing to fear" Krovopuskov said, adding that Borodin intended to come back to Switzerland for the court case.

Correspondents say that the only obstacle foreseen at this stage is whether Borodin's health will permit him to travel. He was treated for heart trouble during his detention in both the US and Switzerland.

Pavel Borodin was extradited to Switzerland from the United States last month, to answer questions about money laundering. The Geneva authorities want him to answer questions about the disappearance of $25 million, which they believe came from two Swiss construction firms in return for lucrative contracts to renovate the Kremlin.

But Borodin stayed only six days in Switzerland, leaving for Moscow after the Geneva court freed him on bail of SF5 million, which was paid by the Russian authorities. He was however ordered to make himself available for any future judicial proceedings.

Borodin's lawyers have said their client will return to Geneva for questioning, as soon as his health improves. Borodin was treated for heart trouble during his time in detention in the United States and Switzerland.

Bernard Bertossa has made no secret of his disappointment at the decision to allow Borodin to leave Switzerland, but has vowed to continue the case against him.

However the Geneva public prosecutor admitted that he was "not optimistic" that Borodin would return to Switzerland for questioning.

Both Borodin and the two Swiss construction firms involved, Mabetex and Mercata, deny any wrong doing.

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

swissinfo with agencies

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