Prince took gifts from Russia in exchange for vote, says ex-adviser

Andrew McCorkell
Sunday 12 December 2010 01:00 GMT

An intelligence adviser who served under Albert II of Monaco has lodged allegations of corruption with the International Olympic Committee regarding the Prince's vote for Russia in the selection process for the 2014 Winter Olympic Games.

The adviser, Robert Eringer, claims the Prince accepted gifts and expensive trips from Vladimir Putin, the Russian Prime Minister, and Sergei Pugachev, a Kremlin banker. These included a polar expedition, a fishing holiday, a state dinner and a three-bedroom "dacha".

In a letter sent to Jacques Rogge, the IOC president, Mr Eringer alleges the Prince broke voting rules by accepting the dacha, built at his private mountain farm, Roc Agel. Russia paid labour and building costs, he says. Such extravagant presents exceed IOC guidelines on gifts, and the Prince should not have voted to award the 2014 Winter Olympics to Sochi, Russia, Mr Eringer claims.

In a Californian affidavit submitted to the IOC, he says that as the Prince's intelligence adviser from 2002 to 2008, he became aware of a "growing invasion of Russian organised crime and corrupt officials pouring into Monaco". He claims several of the Prince's aides developed business interests with "Russians of high government position and individuals suspected of involvement with Russian organised crime".

Mr Eringer describes Sergei Pugachev as a "member of Vladimir Putin's inner circle" who was trying to develop business ties with Prince Albert to "buy Monégasque nationality".

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