Since the announcement of this trial, the Swiss press has been wondering. And asks a question: would the cellist have acted with these accounts as a “straw man” for the benefit of the Russian president and his entourage? The hearings of the defendants are eagerly awaited. Dark suits and ties, these four men, three Russians and a Swiss whose identity cannot be revealed due to local law, appeared on Wednesday at the district court in Zurich, the financial capital of Switzerland. All reject the charges, and face a seven-year suspended prison sentence.
When the accounts were opened, doubts already surrounded the source of the sums received by the conductor. One of the questions being in particular how an artist could dispose of such a fortune, underlined the judge who asked the defendants why they had not carried out checks. “I reject the charges“said the bank’s managing director. “For me, personally, it’s an extraordinary situation”he added, explaining that a conviction would mark “really the end of (his) career”.