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Swiss prosecutor to discuss corruption cases in Moscow

Valentin Rorschacher is headed to Moscow to get some answers. Keystone / Alessandro della Valle

The Swiss federal prosecutor, Valentin Rorschacher, is travelling to Moscow on Thursday to discuss investigations of alleged high-level Russian corruption involving the Russian airline, Aeroflot, and contracts to renovate the Kremlin.

This content was published on September 13, 2000 - 18:36

Rorschacher, who is accompanied by his deputy, Felix Bänziger, and four other officials, will hold talks on Friday with his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Ustinov.

In a statement issued in Berne, the federal prosecutor's office said the meeting was being held at the request of the Swiss. Investigating magistrates from Geneva have repeatedly complained that Russia was slow in providing information they had requested.

The visit comes less than a month after the Russian special investigator, Nikolai Volkov, resigned saying he was unable to carry out his work. Volkov had been investigating allegations that the Russian media magnate, Boris Berezovski, was involved in embezzling money from Aeroflot, through two Swiss companies.

The former Aeroflot vice-president, Nikolai Gluschkov, is also thought to be involved.

In the other affair, the Swiss construction company Mabatex is suspected of having paid $62 million in bribes to high Kremlin officials to get renovation contracts.

The former Kremlin property manager, Pavel Borodin, is suspected of having taken some of the bribes. But the activities of the family of the former Russian president, Boris Yeltsin, are also under scrutiny.

Russian prosecutors insisted on Tuesday they were cooperating with the Swiss in the Mabatex affair, despite accusations they were dragging their feet. The Geneva cantonal prosecutor, Bernard Bertossa, has complained that nothing has changed since the Russian president, Vladimir Putin, was elected in March.

All the people named as suspects in both affairs have denied any knowledge of wrongdoing.

swissinfo with agencies

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