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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Pressure on Skuratov Heats Up




Russia's suspended Prosecutor General Yury Skuratov had his weekend plans put on hold Thursday when his scheduled trip to Switzerland was unexpectedly canceled.


Skuratov, who was to meet with Carla del Ponte - until Wednesday the leading prosecutor in the Swiss investigation into Russian corruption - had a May trip to Switzerland for a corruption conference similarly scrapped when Russian authorities canceled his newly issued passport. But this time around, he said it was the Swiss visa that seemed to be the problem.


"The embassy is not rushing to give it to me, although I did ask them to give it to me expediently," Skuratov said. He said del Ponte, who has moved on to become the chief prosecutor for the international war crimes tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, had sent his invitation.


Heidi Grau, press secretary for the Swiss Embassy in Moscow, refused to say if the embassy had received an invitation for Skuratov. "We don't comment on visa matters," she said.


Meanwhile, investigators from the Prosecutor General's Office conducted a search of the office of their suspended boss on Tuesday.


The search was the second time in a week that property belonging to the suspended prosecutor has been searched by investigators formerly under his command. Last Thursday, his dacha and city apartment were searched, as was the apartment of his wife's parents.


Skuratov, who has been under investigation since being removed from his post April 2 amid a scandal involving his probe into allegations of Kremlin corruption, said the tactics were meant to "scare" him. He rushed to dispel any talk of his trying to go abroad to escape his recent political pressures.


"I have no reason to flee and such a thought has never surfaced in my head. They're all dreaming of it, but I will never make them such a gift," he said.