Switzerland will file charges against top managers of Gazprom

The prosecutor's office of Switzerland is preparing to present formal charges of corruption to Bogdan Budzulyak, a former member of the board of Gazprom and to the current top-manager of the company Alexander Shaikhutdinov, said the Dutch newspaper NRC Handelsblad on Tuesday.
Origin source
Top managers of the monopoly is suspected of receiving bribes in the construction of the gas pipeline Yamal - Europe. The trial will begin on them in the spring of 2015, writes NRC Handelsblad. This is the first time that in Western Europe being charged against "Gazprom" leaders, the newspaper notes.

Lawyer Budzulyak Philip Curra said NRC, that the investigation was completed and he and his client are waiting for the indictment. Protecting Russians feared "political motivation" of the investigation. At RBC request for comments lawyer said.

The investigation against the Russians due to the corruption case against the Swedish company Siemens Industrial Turbomachinery (SIT): Swiss prosecutors accused her of bribing top managers "Russian state" (not naming names) in November of 2013, so that they guarantee it concluded a supply contract gas turbines for the gas pipeline Yamal - Europe. SIT did not wait for the court and receiving charges, pleaded guilty and pledged to donate $ 135 thousand. In favor of the International Committee of the Red Cross and another $ 10.6 million to pay as a penalty. Totalshe was accused of bribery in the amount of $ 3.79 million - about 2-3% of the cost of the contract for the supply of compressor stations for the project.

The scheme of the 1990s

The corruption scheme, according to the investigation, was formed in the late 1990s, when the SIT was not part of Siemens, and belonged to the Swedish-Swiss engineering concern ABB. The reason for the trial served as a consulting agreement between "daughter» ABB and Cyprus by Burlingame Consulting Limited. Through this structure of the money allegedly transferred to the Swiss account Russian defendants in the investigation.

In late September, "Vedomosti" wrote that the persons involved in the investigation is a former member of the Board of "Gazprom" Bogdan Budzulyak, deputy head of the department of "Gazprom" for the Gas Transportation, Underground Storage and Utilization Alexander Shaikhutdinov, as well as former top managers of "ABB Russia" Mikhail Chesnakov and Vladimir Ushakov.

According to the newspaper, registered in Cyprus Chesnakov Burlingame and helped to open accounts in the Zurich branch of the French bank Credit Lyonnais (today Credit Agricole) the rest of the persons involved. BanBudzulyak-bank accounts in Switzerland and Shaikhutdinova were frozen in 2010 as part of the investigation the prosecutor's office, said the Dutch NRC. December 8th edition, it became known that the court rejected the request to lift the lockout Budzulyak off. According to earlier solutions available on the website of the court, to the end of 2013, three accounts Budzulyak totaling $ 1,376,000 have been arrested in Switzerland.

Distance punishment

Managing Attorney General of Switzerland (OAG) still did not disclose the names of the persons involved in the investigation. OAG plans to present formal charges four suspects until the end of January 2015, RBC reported on Wednesday a representative of the prosecutor's office. Two of them can be attributed to "active bribery", the other two of them - "passive bribery". Three of the defendants are suspected of money laundering.

The investigation qualifies representatives of "Gazprom" as a foreign officials (Swiss Criminal Code allows for such an interpretation in relation to employees of state-owned companies if they carry out public functions). activelybribery, according to Swiss standards, implies that the perpetrator 'offers, promises or gives "unlawful benefit to a foreign official; passive - when the official "demands, allows himself to promise or accept" improper advantage.

Active or passive bribery, which is involved in a foreign civil servant, is in Switzerland a criminal offense, the punishment includes imprisonment for a term not exceeding five years or a fine. Money laundering is punishable by imprisonment for a term not exceeding three years or a fine. The court may be sentenced in absentia, it noted in the Swiss prosecutor's office.