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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Prosecutors Close Corruption Case

Russian prosecutors have closed a major corruption case involving the alleged payment of kickbacks to members of former President Boris Yeltsin's close circle, Interfax reported Wednesday.

Investigators had accused the Swiss construction firm Mabetex of paying kickbacks for contracts to renovate the Kremlin and other presidential properties. The allegations concerned Pavel Borodin, the chief of the Kremlin property agency, as well as members of Yeltsin's own family.

Many had seen the case as a test of whether Russian courts and law enforcement were strong enough to take on the country's political establishment and root out widespread corruption, which hampered the country's post-Communist economic reform.

Swiss authorities cooperated on the case and had issued a warrant for Borodin's arrest.

But Wednesday, Ruslan Tamayev, the chief investigator on the case, said the case was closed for lack of evidence that any crime was committed, according to Interfax.

Swiss prosecutors have previously complained that their Russian counterparts have been sluggish in pursuing the investigations and unwilling to make arrests in the case.

The head of Mabetex, Behgjet Pacolli, has been charged in a Swiss court in relation to the case. Borodin has denied wrongdoing and currently holds a largely ceremonial government post as head of the Russian-Belarusian union.

Police had also examined whether others, reportedly including former President Boris Yeltsin's daughter Tatyana Dyachenko, had received bribes from Mabetex and another Swiss firm involved in the reconstruction work, Mercata.