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Russian official in Geneva for talks on Borodin case

Russian prosecutor, Ruslan Tamayev, discussed the case of Pavel Borodin with his Geneva counterpart, Bernard Bertossa Keystone

A Russian prosecutor has held talks with his Swiss counterparts in Geneva about the fate of Pavel Borodin, the former Kremlin aide currently being held in the United States on corruption charges.

Ruslan Tamayev said he was satisfied with the outcome of his meeting with Geneva’s public prosecutor, Bernard Bertossa, who is seeking Borodin’s extradition from New York, where he was arrested last month.

Bertossa demanded his arrest on suspicion of laundering $25 million (SFr41 million), which he allegedly received from two Swiss firms in return for granting lucrative contracts to renovate the Kremlin.

The Geneva prosecutor said Tamayev had brought with him documents relating to the case, probably about the two Swiss firms – Mabetex and Mercata – implicated in the affair.

But he declined to comment on whether Tamayev had pressed for an end to moves to extradite Borodin from the United States, saying only that the process would continue.

Relations between Russian and Swiss prosecutors have suffered over the past few months, following the sudden resignation of the official leading money laundering investigations in Russia and Moscow’s decision in December not to pursue its own case against Borodin.

Tamayev said a face-to-face meeting was important to improve each side’s understanding of the other’s position.

“We have a very good working relationship with the Genevan justice authorities,” said the Russian official said.

“But we decided to come to Switzerland in order to hold face-to-face discussions with Mr Bertossa, rather than conduct a debate through the media.”

Last week, the Russian foreign minister, Igor Ivanov, on a visit to Bern, asked Switzerland to bring the matter to a close as soon as possible.

But the Swiss foreign minister, Joesph Deiss, said at the time that the case was a “legal matter and not a political affair”, and that the government’s hands were tied by Swiss law which prevents any political interference in judicial matters.

swissinfo with agencies

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SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR