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Judge Denies Russian Official Bail

March 10, 2001

NEW YORK (AP) _ A federal judge again denied bail on Friday for a high-ranking Russian official accused of laundering multimillion-dollar kickbacks from Swiss companies that renovated Kremlin buildings.

U.S. Magistrate Viktor Pohorelsky also refused to release Pavel Borodin in January, after his arrest by the FBI on a Swiss warrant. Borodin has denied any wrongdoing.

``I’m troubled by the risk of flight,″ Pohorelsky said at a court hearing attended by the Russian ambassador to the United States, Yuri Ushakov.

Borodin’s attorney, Barry Kingham, said he planned to appeal.

Defense attorneys have argued that Borodin needs to be free to continue his official duties as state secretary to the Russia-Belarus Union.

Borodin, who managed the Kremlin property administration under former President Boris Yeltsin, was intercepted at Kennedy International Airport while on his way to celebrate President Bush’s inauguration.

The arrest has drawn protests from the Russian Foreign Ministry but silence from President Vladimir Putin, who has pledged to crack down on corruption.

Russian prosecutors last year closed their investigation into the Kremlin case after more than two years, saying Swiss authorities failed to provide evidence. But Switzerland kept the case open and issued an international warrant for Borodin.

An extradition hearing is set for April 2.

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