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Borodin benefactors pay fine

Borodin refused to pay the fine of SFr300,000 Keystone Archive

Russian businessmen have offered to pay a fine of SFr300,000, imposed on the former Kremlin finance chief, Pavel Borodin, for money laundering.

Borodin previously said he would not pay the fine, which was levied by a judge in Geneva earlier this month after an anti-corruption investigation lasting over two years.

Borodin’s lawyer, Genrich Padwa, said the benefactors were also implicated in the scandal and wanted to put a swift end to the court case.

Swiss authorities found Borodin guilty of receiving SFr38 million in kickbacks from two Swiss companies – Mabetex and Mercata – in exchange for lucrative contracts to renovate the Kremlin and the Russian presidential plane.

The head of Mercata, Vikotor Stolpowskich, is among those who have offered to pay the fine, Padwa said.

The Borodin case first emerged publicly in 1999, when evidence emerged of money laundering using Swiss bank accounts in 1994 and 1995.

The former director of the Kremlin property office was dismissed from his post by the Russian president, Vladimir Putin, in January 2000 and now holds the largely ceremonial post of secretary of the Russian-Belorussian Union.

Mercata and Mabetex -who have had accounts frozen by investigators reinstated – won contracts to refurbish the Kremlin and presidential plane worth SFr486 million.

swissinfo with agencies

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SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR

SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR