Pavel Borodin might be extradited to Switzerland this weekend

Pavel Borodin, Secretary General of the Union State of Russia and Belarus, might be extradited from the USA to Switzerland this weekend, says one of his three Swiss lawyers, Vincent Solary. At the same time, the federal police department and the Geneva prosecutor office did not announce, "for security reasons," the date and the time of Borodin's arrival to Switzerland. Solary believes that the US authorities will not disclose that information even to Borodin's American lawyers.

According to unofficial data acquired by this correspondent, Borodin might be possibly delivered not directly to Geneva, but to Zurich by an ordinary Swissair, Delta or Continental flight, from whence he would be taken to the Geneva prison by a train or a car. Guy Savary, deputy chief ward of the prison, told RIA Novosti that a single cell had been prepared for Borodin. This is an ordinary cell that does not differ in any way from the nearly 130 other cells of the prison. It has a wooden bed, a chair and a WC. The inmates use the broad windowsill for a table, and there is a shower and bathtub on the floor. As soon as Borodin is delivered to the prison, he will be handed a list of prison rules in Russian.

The translation was made five or six years ago. Under these rules, inmates can have one 15-minute telephone conversation every two weeks. As a foreigner, Borodin has the right to contact at any time of the day, provided he sends a corresponding request to the Russian Consulate. Only the investigator, who is also responsible for perusing Borodin's mail whose amount is not limited, can allow visits. According to prison rules, the inmates can buy a radio and a TV set for their cells at the prison shop or request that they be bought elsewhere. But the use of VCRs is prohibited. There are no Russian-language newspapers in the prison, although there are a few Russian books in the library. This is well nigh the only prison in Switzerland that acts as the pre-trial detention ward. A half of those who are delivered there are freed within a week. A rare exception was the case of Russian businessman Sergei Mikhailov (Mikhas), who spent about two years in the prison. Most other inmates leave the prison in 35-40 days.

Those sentenced to punishment are sent to prisons and penitentiaries in other regions of the country, as there is nothing of the kind in the Geneva province. This is a relatively new prison, built barely 27 years ago. It has not been overhauled since then, but it is maintained in good condition. A new roof was laid some time ago. There are 164 cells for 270 inmates in the prison, including 244 for men and 26 for women. Guy Savary said the prison "is a bit overcrowded" now with about 350 inmates, including five from Russia. Standard meals cost 7 dollars per inmate in the prison, but there is a chance to diversify your diet (this concerns vegetarians and those who do not eat pork). On the whole, the variety and quality of meals in the prison are not much worse - and sometimes even better - than the food offered outside its walls. If Pavel Borodin is ordered to stay in the prison, he will be allowed daily one-hour walks.

There is no swimming pool in the prison, but there is a fitness room where inmates can work out under the watchful eyes of an instructor and a guard, who are not armed with as much as a stick. Brawls between inmates in common cells happen extremely rarely and it was only once that a guard was injured. In general, over 80 percent of this prison's inmates are foreigners, most of them from former Yugoslavia, Albania and neighbouring France.