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Sep. 07, 2005
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Evgeny Adamov's Secrets May Come Out
// He doesn't promise to keep state secrets in American prison
The Case of the Ex-Minister
Former Minister of Atomic Energy Evgeny Adamov spoke live over radio station Echo of Moscow yesterday from his prison cell in Switzerland. He said that the only purpose of his prosecution by American authorities is to show that Russian authorities are corrupt through and through.
Adamov spoke over a payphone on the first floor of the prison in Bern. He is being held there for the fourth month now waiting for his extradition to be settled. He spoke to the Moscow radio station with the permission of the prison administration.

The former minister was arrested on May 2 of this year in Bern, where he had come to help his daughter, who lives in Switzerland, unblock her bank account. He was arrested on a warrant issued by District Attorney of Pittsburgh, PA, Mary Beth Buchanan. She is accusing Adamov and his business partner Mark Kaushansky of embezzling over $9 million that the U.S. government provided in the early 1990s for research on nuclear safety in Russia. Adamov was the head of a high-profile Moscow research institute at that time. American authorities are demanding Adamov's extradition to stand trial. Two weeks after his arrest, Swiss authorities received a similar request from the Russian Prosecutor General's Office, which had also initiated a criminal case against the former minister. The Swiss have still not decided which request to give preference to. Adamov, meanwhile, remains in jail.

He began his interview yesterday by saying that, After leaving government service in 2001, I had hoped to give up communicating with the media forever. Then he recounted his record as Minister of Atomic Energy from 1998 to 2001. It could be gathered from this account that conditions in atomic energy today in Russia are so fortunate thanks to him personally, with a little help from his reliable partner RAO UES of Russia head Anatoly Chubais.

The he took questions. He answered them as though they were known to him in advance. He had had ample time to think about what journalists might ask him, however. Adamov considers his case political. When they arrested Pavel Borodin in Switzerland, they didn't want him, but Yeltsin, he said. In my case, the main task is to show that the authorities in Russia are corrupt and a country like that can't be left with nuclear weapons without Western control. The Americans, Adamov thinks, are not afraid of losing in his trial because what they really need is a bearer of state secrets brought in in handcuffs.

When asks if he would expose those secrets while in the hands of the Americans, he answered vaguely, If I spend even one night in an American prison, it will be impossible to exclude possibilities with state secrets. Those words were undoubtedly meant for those for whom state secrets are a concern and who did not hurry to get him out of prison. I think that every country has enough leverage for that, Adamov said. The question is how it uses them. I am counting on the help of my country.

Adamov has already agreed to a simplified procedure for extradition to Russia. He stated that he was ready to answer before a Russian court for the charges made against him in the U.S. In response, the U.S. Justice Department reconfirmed its extradition request.

Deputy Director of the Swiss Federal Office of Justice Rudolf Wyss said that a type of competition of the requests for priority has begun. He refused to speak in detail of the situation, saying only that the case is closed and no information connected with can be made public. Nor could they say anything definite about the deadline for a decision. In any case, we are talking about the coming weeks. Experience shows that new factors are arising constantly in the case that will delay its progress, said Swiss Federal Office of Justice representative Folco Galli. Galli did not say whether yesterday's radio broadcast would be among those factors.
Alek Akhundov; Igor Sedykh, Geneva

All the Article in Russian as of Sep. 07, 2005

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