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Luzhkov Believes a New Suit against Banker Borodin Is Hopeless

Forbes

Former Moscow Mayor Yuri Luzhkov believes that the new version of charges against the former president of the Bank of Moscow, Andrei Borodin, is totally hopeless.

“Law-enforcement agencies cannot find anything new or substantial in the Bank of Moscow case and therefore fish in the air,” Interfax cites Luzhkov as saying.

According to the former mayor, the case concerning the loan issued to the Premier Estate Company holds no promise. “Otherwise, the case would have long gone to court,” he noted.

“The case was brought up when there was a need to fight me,” Luzhkov said.

“I know nothing about the instance when a Cypriot company was issued a loan, but I can say that the decision was made by the Bank of Moscow board,” Luzhkov said, noting that while he held the post of mayor he fully trusted Borodin and would not go into details of the bank’s operation.

“Borodin was one of the most experienced bankers in Russia; his behaviour is very cautious and conservative. I do not think that he would go into risky, let alone unlawful deals,” the former head officer of the capital city said.

On 6 November investigators showed a new version of the former banker’s indictment to Borodin’s defense team. According to Borodin’s attorney Vladimir Krasnov, the document basically unites two already known events: loans given to the Premier Estate Company and to Cypriot companies.

Borodin continually headed the Bank of Moscow since its inception in 1995 and was its major shareholder. In early 2011, VTB acquired 46.5 per cent of Bank of Moscow shares from the city government. With the coming of the new shareholder, a conflict arose with the bank’s former team, headed by Borodin, and the latter left the country. A while later it was announced that the bank had problems relating to sizeable loans issued to structures affiliated with the former management. The Central Bank and the Deposit Insurance Agency made a decision on the bank’s rehabilitation, and Borodin was arrested in absence by Moscow’s Tverskoy District Court on charges of abuse of power. Later, the charge was changed to fraud and Borodin was announced internationally wanted. At present, the former banker lives in the United Kingdom.

Over the past few weeks Borodin’s name has been prominent in the media. In particular, NTV’s scandalous documentary Anatomy of Protest 2 called him a sponsor of the Russian opposition, which allegedly was preparing to seize power in Russia by force. In addition, the media reported that a number of Borodin’s assets abroad had been arrested and a number of criminal cases had been brought up against the businessman, while the Bank of Moscow announced it was claiming 85 billion roubles from its former manager.

Borodin has tied the new hullabaloo around his name with an interview he gave Forbes in early October. “In it, I said again that Medvedev had a part in this story,” Borodin said referring to the change of owner in the Bank of Moscow.

In the interview with Forbes Borodin said, in particular, that he had been forced to sell his share in the Bank of Moscow at an underestimated price. The intermediary in the negotiations was former energy minister Igor Yusufov, who acted, according to Borodin, on behalf and on instructions of the then president of Russia and current Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev.