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Tuesday, 13 March, 2001, 18:17 GMT
Jailed Yeltsin aide in US hospital
Pavel Borodin
Mr Borodin was one of Mr Yeltsin's top assistants
Russia has issued a harsh statement regarding American treatment of a former Kremlin aide who is under arrest in the US.

Pavel Borodin, who was detained in the US on an international arrest warrant, was rushed to a New York hospital on Monday night complaining of heart trouble.

Vladimir Putin and Boris Yeltsin
Mr Putin sacked Mr Borodin when he took over
Mr Borodin, aged 54, was initially thought to have suffered a heart attack - but the fears proved unfounded and he may be returned to jail later on Tuesday.

The Russian Foreign Ministry described Mr Borodin's move to hospital as "secretive", adding: "It was only after our insistent requests that we were told of his whereabouts and access to him was allowed."

One of former Russian President Boris Yeltsin's closest confidants, Mr Borodin is facing extradition to Switzerland on charges of money laundering and belonging to a criminal organisation.

Bail denied

Last week, a New York judge denied a request for his release pending a scheduled extradition hearing on 2 April.

Although his lawyers insist he holds diplomatic immunity and may not be arrested abroad, Mr Borodin was detained after showing only his regular passport to immigration officials.

The Russian Foreign Ministry has said US authorities should take Mr Borodin's health into account when considering bail requests.

It also upped the ante on Saturday, telling the US Ambassador to Moscow that the detention of Mr Borodin was "fast turning from a legal into a political affair, which could have a negative impact on Russian-US relations", the ministry said.

Kickbacks scandal

Tatyana Dyachenko, Boris Yeltsin's daughter
Mr Yeltsin's daughter has also been implicated
Mr Borodin has been under investigation for having allegedly taken at least $25 million in kickbacks from construction companies that won contracts to work on Kremlin property.

He is also accused of helping open illegal credit card accounts for Mr Yeltsin and his daughters.

Although Russian prosecutors have formally closed their investigation, Geneva courts have continued to freeze bank accounts held by a Swiss construction company involved in the Kremlin scandal.

Mr Borodin was one of the first officials removed from the Kremlin by President Vladimir Putin last year, as the new Kremlin chief sought to distance himself from corruption scandals dogging his predecessor.

He told the Interfax news agency that he had spent two hours under an oxygen mask on Saturday and stayed in bed for the past two days.

He complained about feeling increasingly ill, and of problems with his heart and blood pressure.

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26 Jan 01 | Europe
Former Yeltsin aide denied bail
19 Jan 01 | Europe
Yeltsin aide held in US jail
27 Jan 00 | Europe
Arrest warrant for Yeltsin aide
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