Rutskoi to sue fraud team

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The Independent Online
MOSCOW (AFP) - The Russian Vice-President, Alexander Rutskoi, said yesterday he would sue the Kremlin's anti-corruption commission for 'fraud, forgery and lies'.

Investigators from the inter-ministerial commission to fight crime have accused Mr Rutskoi of being linked to a Swiss bank account and claim that the 'Renaissance' fund he heads is involved in illegal trading. No judicial inquiry has been opened and the only alleged proof is a notaried bill from Canada.

'This is a fake document,' Alexander Korovnikov, a director of the Renaissance fund, said. 'The general (Rutskoi) could not have signed this document as he has never been to either Canada or Switzerland and does not even have a civilian passport,' he said, denouncing the 'dirty tricks' used by those close to the Russian President, Boris Yeltsin.

The President's men were 'persecuting' the likes of Mr Rutskoi, Ruslan Khasbulatov, the parliamentary Speaker, or the state prosecutor, Valentin Stepankov, Mr Korovnikov said. He also explained that the commercial activities they were being accused of had been set up with the agreement of Mr Yeltsin who had created the fund in November 1990 to 'develop social programmes' and had directed it until September 1992.

The association quickly gained a semi-government status which allowed it tax-free income and enabled it to benefit from state privileges such as favourable currency exchange rates, Mr Korovnikov said.