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Former Kremlin aide gives up fight against Swiss extradition

Former Kremlin aide Pavel Borodin says he is willing to face Swiss prosecutors (Keystone Archive) swissinfo.ch

The former high-ranking Russian official, Pavel Borodin, who is wanted in Switzerland for alleged money laundering activities, has opted not to resist extradition from the United States.

This content was published on April 2, 2001 - 18:52

Borodin's attorneys informed a US magistrate of his decision on Monday, during a court hearing in Brooklyn, New York.

"Mr Borodin, after much thought, has decided to waive his right to extradition," said defence attorney, Barry Kingham. He added that he expected Borodin to be extradited in about a week's time, to Switzerland.

The former right-hand man of the previous Russian President Boris Yeltsin, has been held in a New York jail since January, when he was arrested by US authorities at Switzerland's request.

Canton Geneva's chief prosecutor, Bernard Bertossa, has accused Borodin of accepting $25 million in kickbacks from the Swiss companies, Mabetex and Mercata, in return for renovation contracts.

The 54-year-old Borodin was in charge of Kremlin properties under Yeltsin and is close to president Vladimir Putin.

Borodin, who has repeatedly denied the charges, told the court that he was ready to face Swiss prosecutors.

"My decision is based solely on my desire to be set free as soon as possible and to have my reputation unstained," Borodin told the court.

He added, "I have nothing to be afraid of, nothing to fear and I am certain the Swiss court will acquit me".

Borodin had previously expressed a willingness to come to Switzerland, but only if the country dropped the extradition proceedings.

Switzerland's efforts to bring him to trial have also caused ructions with Russia.

The Russian authorities, who dropped their own investigation into Borodin last December, were opposed to extradition and tried to persuade the Swiss government to intervene in the case, warning that it could have a "negative effect on Russian-American relations".

swissinfo with agencies

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