Russia: Lawyer of suspected cocaine trafficker blames US and Argentina for 'fabrication'

The lawyer of the alleged mastermind behind the smuggling of nearly 400 kg (882 lbs) of cocaine from Argentina to Russia, Vladimir Zherebenkov, spoke about the case during an interview in Moscow, Friday. Representing the Russian citizen Andrei Kovalchuk, who was arrested earlier on Friday in the German capital Berlin, the lawyer stated that the case with 12 suitcases of cocaine «was fabricated... Еще by the special services of Argentina and America.» He explained that after tests, there were no finger-prints or DNA found on the suitcases, which needed some special and very expensive equipment to clear them up. «My client does not have such equipment, it is very expensive,» said Zherebenkov. Identified as the alleged organiser of the case, Kovalchuk was apprehended «due to the suspicion that he has founded an international criminal organisation, with the goal, according to the Russian authorities, to smuggle cocaine between Argentina and Russia,» according to Martin Steltner, spokesperson for the Berlin Public Prosecutor's Office. He now awaits extradition procedures at a court in Berlin. The case was revealed in Argentina last week, when Argentinian authorities announced they had seized 389 kilograms (857,59 lbs) of cocaine, and made several arrests, including a police officer and a Russian diplomatic official.

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