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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Swiss Deny Giving Poor Evidence in Mabetex Probe

BERN, Switzerland — The Swiss federal prosecutor's office Tuesday denied that authorities gave Russia insufficient information in a probe of alleged high-level Russian corruption, which was later dropped by officials in Moscow.

The office, which announced it has formally ended legal assistance to Moscow in the case, said Russian prosecutors had been kept "constantly and thoroughly" informed and had been given all the documents they demanded.

Last week, Russian prosecutors announced their decision to close a more than two-year-old investigation into whether two Swiss firms had paid kickbacks to members of former President Boris Yeltsin's close circle, including Krem-lin property manager Pavel Borodin.

They said the Swiss had failed to provide sufficient evidence that a crime had been committed, a claim that was rejected by prosecutors in Geneva, who have been conducting their own money laundering investigation.

The federal prosecutor's office insisted that "documents were swiftly passed on to Russian authorities when they requested them." It added that the Russians never took into account some seized documents that were repeatedly offered to them.

"As the federal prosecutor's office believes this is informative material, it is making the corresponding documents available to the Geneva state prosecutor's office for its proceedings," the office said in a statement.

Describing the Russian decision to close the inquiry as "exclusively political," Geneva State Prosecutor Bernard Bertossa said Friday that he likely would decide early in the new year whether to continue the Geneva investigation.

Swiss authorities have been helping investigate whether two construction firms based in the southern Swiss town of Lugano — Mercata and Mabetex — gave Russian officials kickbacks from lucrative contracts to refurbish the Kremlin and other buildings.

The Swiss had issued a warrant for Borodin's arrest. The head of Mabetex, Behgjet Pacolli, has been charged in a Swiss court in relation to the case. Borodin has denied any wrongdoing.