, the former head of the Kremlin’s property office. Like Berezovsky, Borodin was a member of the Yeltsin “Family.” Like Berezovsky, he gave Putin a boost in his climb to the top–Putin served as Borodin’s deputy in his first Kremlin job. Like Berezovsky, Borodin was under investigation in Switzerland, in this case for running Kremlin contracts through a Swiss firm, Mabetex, that was apparently part of a scheme to kick back many millions of dollars into the offshore accounts of Kremlin officials.

But Russia’s prosecutor general is closing down the Mabetex case for lack of evidence. When he got the news, the Swiss prosecutor lost his judicial cool. A “double standard,” said Bernard Bertossa. “Pavel Borodin has wonderful relations with the regime and he is being cleared of guilt despite the fact that bank account numbers and information concerning the transfer of funds to Mr. Borodin… were transmitted to Moscow. At the same time, others, who have criticized the regime, are subject to prosecution. I mean Berezovsky and Gusinsky.”

How closed is the Mabetex affair?