Exiled banker denies allegations made in Russian TV film on opposition

BBC Monitoring Former Soviet Union

Former chairman of the Bank of Moscow Andrey Borodin has described claims made in the “Anatomy of Protest 2” documentary shown on the Gazprom-owned NTV channel on 5 October that he is funding the opposition movement in Russia that is seeking to overthrow the authorities as a lie. In a statement quoted by Interfax news agency on 9 October, he said: “That film claimed that I provide financial assistance to the opposition movement in Russia for the purpose of an unlawful and(or) undemocratic seizure of power in the country. It is a lie.”

Borodin continued: “I have never been in favour of such methods of changing power. The absurd conclusion that the actions of the opposition, and therefore of its sponsors, are aimed at seizing power in Russia by force is only in the interests of the authorities themselves, who control the TV channel and its staff.”

Commenting on reports that allegations made in the NTV documentary would be checked by the Russian Prosecutor-General’s Office and the Russian Investigations Committee, Borodin said in the statement: “The law-enforcement agencies’ heightened interest to this issue is not surprising. The Russian authorities have for a long time been waging a large-scale campaign aimed at discrediting the opposition movement.” He added: “Films like that are perfectly suited for fabricating criminal cases against Russian citizens whom the authorities find unwelcome.”

A later Interfax report on the same day further quoted Borodin as saying that new criminal cases were being prepared in Russia against former Bank of Moscow top managers. “According to my sources, new criminal cases are being prepared in Russia against the same suspects, while the relevant agencies are busy searching for and impounding my assets all over the world,” Borodin said in his statement.

Borodin is wanted in Russia in connection with a criminal investigation into large-scale embezzlement at the Bank of Moscow. He is currently living in London.

The Interfax report further quoted him as saying that the criminal case against him “had practically fallen apart and neither the investigation nor the court had any sensible arguments left for continuing it”. However, the “Anatomy of Protest 2” film may now prompt a new investigation against him, Borodin said. “The information about me presented in the film has nothing to with the truth, however it fully meets the interests of the Russian authorities, especially now when the criminal cases launched against me are falling apart,” he said.

“I have never committed the unlawful actions the Russian state authorities accuse me of, either in the economic or the political sphere. And I shall continue to defend my right to both, an objective consideration of the claims made against me and to any lawful form of expressing my civic position,” Borodin concluded.

Sources: Interfax news agency, Moscow, in Russian 0951 and 1010 gmt 9 Oct 12

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