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Swiss expect Borodin to be extradited within days

Russian citizens demonstrated outside the US embassy in Moscow on Monday against Borodin's extradition to Switzerland Keystone

Swiss police say they expect a former Kremlin aide, Pavel Borodin, to be extradited from the United States "within days" to answer charges of money laundering. Borodin gave up his fight against extradition on Monday.

This content was published on April 3, 2001 - 12:28

During a court hearing in New York, Borodin's attorneys informed the magistrate that he had dropped his opposition to extradition from the US.

On Tuesday, the Geneva prosecutor investigating the case, Bernard Bertossa, said it was now up to US officials to decide when Borodin will be extradited. A Swiss police spokesman said that for security reasons, they "never give out the exact day of extradition".

Bertossa has accused Borodin of laundering $25 million in kickbacks from two Swiss companies - Mabetex and Mercata - in return for lucrative contracts to renovate the Kremlin.

Bertossa said he was "not surprised" by Borodin's decision, adding that it was "the simplest way for him to explain himself before the Geneva authorities".

Borodin, 54, was Kremlin property manager under the former Russian president, Boris Yeltsin. He has been held in a New York jail since January, when he was arrested by US authorities on a Swiss warrant.

Bertossa said that Borodin would appear before Geneva's prosecuting judge, Daniel Devaud, once he has been transferred to Switzerland.

Borodin, who has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing, told the New York 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 on his own accord, but only if the extradition proceedings were dropped.

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".

The government refused to intervene, saying the case was a judicial matter and had nothing to do with politics.

swissinfo with agencies

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