Switzerland discontinues investigation into Russian ex-Minister of Agriculture Elena Skrynnik

Switzerland discontinues investigation into Russian ex-Minister of Agriculture Elena Skrynnik
Elena Skrynnik

The prosecutor's office has removed an attachment from the bank accounts of the Russian Ministry of Agriculture's former head, which held about 61 million dollars.

In Switzerland, the investigation into the criminal case over money laundering by former Head of the Ministry of Agriculture of the Russian Federation Elena Skrynnik has been discontinued. This decision was taken by the Swiss Federal Prosecutor's Office.

One of the reasons for the discontinuation was the Russian side's unwillingness to cooperate with the Swiss Prosecutor's Office, the supervisory authority reports. 

The investigation has been terminated due to the insufficient legal assistance necessary to establish the corpus delicti related to money laundering. Suspicions in a criminal act can not be justified, the message of the prosecutor's office says.

As reported by the local publication Blick, the attachment, which had been imposed on Elena Skrynnik's bank accounts two years ago, has been removed. The arrested funds were returned to Skrynnik in February 2017. According to the publication, Elena Skrynnik refused to receive compensation and agreed to pay litigation expenses in the amount of 16 thousand francs.

To recall, the criminal case "on suspicion of high-powered money laundering" (paragraph 2 of Art. 305bis of the Swiss Criminal Code) was initiated in 2013. In October 2015, the prosecutor's office ruled to attach the accounts of ex-Minister of Agriculture of the Russian Federation Elena Skrynnik. About 60 million Swiss francs, equalling $61.2 million, were under arrest. According to the Swiss Prosecutor's Office, a total of about $140 million was credited to the Skrynnik's accounts in the period from 2007 to 2012.

The former Minister of Agriculture herself, who held this post from 2009 to 2012, would deny the availability of any funds in Swiss banks.

It is noteworthy that the Swiss case against Skrynnik is associated with the Russian criminal case of embezzlement of fund from the state corporation Rosagroleasing, headed by Elena Skrynnik at the time of the commission of crimes.

As previously reported by the CrimeRussia, the Russian law enforcement bodies had also considered the initiation of a criminal case over 1.6-billion-ruble ($26.6 million) embezzlement from Rosagroleasing and Rosselkhobank against the former minister, however, she ended up only as a witness in the case.

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