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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Swiss Prosecutor Alleges Legal Double Standards

A top Swiss prosecutor alleged in an interview published Friday that Russian justice officials had refused to cooperate in a key corruption probe, and he accused them of using double standards.

Russian prosecutors on Wednesday dropped 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 Kremlin property manager Pavel Borodin. They said there was no evidence that a crime had been committed.

In an interview published Friday in the Segodnya daily, Bernard Bertossa, the chief prosecutor for Geneva, claimed that the investigation had been closed for political reasons.

"Pavel Borodin has a great relationship with the regime, and he is cleared of suspicion even though Moscow was given bank account numbers and information about transfers that were sent to Borodin and that clearly were not in the form of a salary,"Bertossa was quoted as saying.

Borodin now holds a largely ceremonial position as chief of the Russia-Belarus union. He has denied any wrongdoing.

Bertossa told Segodnya that "it is clear that ... Russia's government shows no desire to cooperate in the investigation."

Meanwhile, cases of financial crime are being energetically pursued against Kremlin critics such as media baron Vladimir Gusinsky and tycoon Boris Berezovsky, he said. Gusinsky was arrested in Spain on Tuesday under an international warrant issued by Russian prosecutors.

"In my view, a double standard of jurisprudence has been established: one for friends, one for opponents,"Bertossa said.

Gusinsky and Berezovsky are among Russia's so-called oligarchs, men who used close ties with Yeltsin's inner circle to make their fortunes. Both men have fallen out of favor with the Kremlin.