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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Geneva Prosecutor Denies He'll Charge Yeltsin Family




ZURICH, Switzerland -- Geneva Prosecutor Bernard Bertossa denied a published report that he intended to file corruption charges against former President Boris Yeltsin's two daughters.


U.S.-based Newsweek magazine had reported that Swiss authorities investigating whether construction companies had paid kickbacks to win lucrative contracts for refurbishing official Russian buildings would soon file such charges.


"I do not intend to do this," Bertossa was quoted as saying in the SonntagsBlick Sunday newspaper, which asked him when such charges were expected against Yelstin's daughters.


"The report published by Newsweek recently is wrong. I can investigate money laundering, but corruption in Russia does not fall under my jurisdiction," he added.


"What I am investigating is whether illicit payments were made by companies like Mabetex. Commissions worth at least $63 million changed hands for the renovation of the Kremlin and other public buildings in Moscow," Bertossa said.


Mabetex and Mercata Trading and Engineering are the Swiss-based construction companies under investigation.


Newsweek had said Yeltsin's daughters Yelena Okulova and Tatyana Dyachenko, one of his closest political advisers, were among 14 people soon to be indicted in the Mabetex affair.


Media reports have said the two women used credit cards guaranteed by Mabetex, which Mabetex and Moscow officials have denied.


Geneva investigating magistrate Daniel Devaud is set to charge two Swiss businessmen next week in connection with the money-laundering inquiry.


Attorneys for the heads of Mabetex and Mercata have confirmed their clients have been called to appear before Devaud to be formally charged.


Swiss authorities issued a warrant in January for former Kremlin official Pavel Borodin, who once headed the Kremlin's real estate holdings. Borodin has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing.