Switzerland refuses to cooperate with Russia in case of fugitive banker – report
MOSCOW, August 16 (RAPSI) – Swiss authorities have denied a request filed by Russia seeking legal aid in a criminal case against former president of the Bank of Moscow charged with embezzlement, Andrey Borodin, SRF media company reported on Wednesday.
Swiss authorities believe that Russia can’t guarantee fair trial in this case, SRF reported citing Official representative of Switzerland’s Federal Office of Justice Folko Galli. A representative of the Swiss Office of the Attorney General, said, in turn, that Russia’s request was denied because of failure to follow rules of procedure stated in the European Convention on Human Rights. He noted that 300 million franks stored on two bank accounts of Borodin, were unfrozen this spring.
In 2011, a criminal case was opened against Borodin and his former first deputy Dmitry Akulinin on charges of large-scale fraud involving funds from the Moscow city budget. They were accused of lending 12.7 billion rubles ($214.5 million at current rate) to a shell company Premier Estate via Bank of Moscow. According to the Kommersant newspaper, now damages allegedly caused by Borodin and his accomplices exceed 62 billion rubles (about $1 billion).
Borodin, whose Bank of Moscow functioned as the capital's chief investment vehicle under its then-mayor Yury Luzhkov, fled to the UK in 2011. In November 2011, the Russian Interpol bureau put Borodin and Akulinin on the international wanted list. In March 2013, Borodin was granted political asylum in the UK.
According to investigators, the real estate, for which Borodin paid ₤140 million, was purchased at the expense of the funds illicitly transferred from the Bank of Moscow. The transaction was carried out in 2011. Investigators believe that the purchase of expensive property might constitute a money laundering scheme.
In 2016, Moscow’s Meshchansky District Court sentenced former top managers of the bank Konstantin Salnikov and Alla Averina to 4.5 and 4 years in prison respectively for embezzling over 1 billion rubles (about $15.6 mln) from the bank. Later, the Moscow City Court reduced prison term for Salnikov to 4 years as well.