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Federal prosecutor says US trial of former Russian nuclear minister 'pointless'

[JURIST] A US federal prosecutor said Friday that proceeding with a US trial of former Russian nuclear energy minister Yevgeny Adamov [Kommersant profile, JURIST news archive] on charges of fraud, money laundering, and tax evasion for diverting to his own use as much as $9 million in US aid earmarked for security improvements at Russian nuclear plants would be "pointless." Adamov is currently in custody in Russia [JURIST report] facing local fraud and abuse of power charges. On Friday, Adamov's lawyers moved to waive Adamov's initial court appearance in Pittsburgh and asked that the case move forward, but Assistant US Attorney Bruce Teitelbaum balked, saying that Adamov will never appear in person and that Russia has made it clear that if Adamov is to be tried it will be there, under Russian law. Teitelbaum nonetheless added he would not move to dismiss the indictment against Adamov until after Russian proceedings have ended. US District Judge Maurice B. Cohill said he will rule on the case soon. Adamov's partner, Russian-born Pittsburgh businessman Mark Kaushansky, is out on bail awaiting trial on similar charges. AP has more.

Adamov was arrested [JURIST report] in Switzerland in May 2005 on a US warrant. After a series of legal battles [JURIST report] between the US and Russia, he was extradited to Russia in December 2005. Adamov was appointed as Russia's nuclear energy minister in 1998 by President Boris Yeltsin, but successor Vladimir Putin dismissed him in 2001.

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