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Swiss prosecutor denies plans to indict Yeltsin's daughters

Geneva prosecutor Bernard Bertossa


The Geneva prosecutor, Bernard Bertossa, has denied a report in an American magazine that he plans to file corruption charges against two daughters of the former Russian president, Boris Yeltsin.

"The report published by Newsweek is incorrect," Bertossa told the SonntagsBlick newspaper. "Although I can investigate money laundering, corruption in Russia does not fall under my jurisdiction."

Newsweek had reported that Yeltsin's daughters were among 14 people soon to be charged in connection with the Mabetex affair. A Lugano-based construction company, Mabetex, allegedly paid kickbacks to senior Russian officials in return for lucrative contracts to refurbish buildings in Moscow owned by the Kremlin.

Bertossa said he was looking into whether illegal payments were made by companies like Mabetex. He underlined that commissions worth more than $60 million had changed hands for the refurbishment of Russian government buildings.

In the next few days, the Geneva prosecutor's office is expected to formally charge the head of Mabetex, Behgjet Pacolli, as well as the boss of another Swiss-based construction company, Mercata Trading and Engineering. The office issued a warrant in January for the former Kremlin property manager, Pavel Borodin.

swissinfo with agencies

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