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Russia: U.S. Court Orders Kremlin Aide To Remain In Federal Custody

New York, 19 January 2001 (RFE/RL) -- A U.S. court has ordered former top Kremlin aide Pavel Borodin to remain in federal custody in New York, pending a bail hearing set for next Thursday. Borodin was arrested at John F. Kennedy International Airport two days ago on an international warrant issued in Switzerland. He is wanted by Swiss authorities for allegedly laundering $25 million in bribes received from companies contracted to renovate the Kremlin. At a hearing in U.S. District Court yesterday, federal magistrate Viktor Pohorelsky denied immediate bail for Borodin. His defense attorney had offered a personal guarantee from the Russian ambassador to the United States that Borodin would not flee the country. The attorney also proposed that Borodin stay inside the Russian consulate in New York wearing an electronic monitoring bracelet.

In Washington, State Department spokesman Richard Boucher said the United States was legally obligated to arrest Borodin under an extradition warrant.

Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov has lodged a formal protest and demanded Borodin's immediate release.

Borodin is currently the secretary of an official body overseeing efforts to form a Russia-Belarus union.