Xamax owner charged with forgery

The Chechen owner of the Swiss football club Neuchâtel Xamax has been formally charged with forgery, a Geneva court spokesman said.

This content was published on November 24, 2011 - 21:53 and agencies

Swiss-based oligarch Bulat Chagaev appeared in court for a first hearing on Thursday, was questioned for four hours and later released.

"The prosecutor Yves Bertossa confirmed the indictment for forgery, without further comment," said a spokesman for the canton Geneva court.

Chagaev is alleged to have shown the club a forged bank statement on Bank of America headed paper which stated he had $35 million ($38 million) in United States bank accounts. A court in canton Neuchâtel ruled it was a forgery last week.

Chagaev said he was not the author of the solvency document but he acknowledged it did not come from the bank, his lawyer Jacques Barillon said.

He bought the debt-ridden club Xamax in May for an estimated SFr1.2 million and his management style has been attracting criticism ever since.

His company offices, home and the Xamax club have been searched in recent weeks.

He faces up to five years in prison if convicted.

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