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US court sentences partner of former Russian nuclear minister

[JURIST] The US District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania sentenced [press release] Russian nuclear engineer Mark M. Kaushansky to 15 months in prison Thursday for his participation in a corruption scheme with former Russian Atomic Minister Yevgeny Adamov [Kommersant profile; JURIST news archive]. The two were accused of stealing up to $9 million in aid designated to upgrade unsafe Russian RBMK nuclear reactors [GlobalSecurity backgrounder]. Kaushansky, who immigrated to United States in 1979, pleaded guilty to conspiracy and tax evasion charges last September.

Kaushansky and Adamov were charged [indictment, PDF] with twenty counts of conspiracy, money laundering, tax evasion, and other charges in May 2005. Adamov, the alleged mastermind of the conspiracy, is currently free in Russia pending the refiling of charges against him. Last August, a Russian court dismissed charges against Adamov, citing factual errors in the prosecutor's indictments and procedural violations throughout the preliminary investigation. Adamov was arrested [JURIST report] in Switzerland in 2005 on a US warrant, but was extradited to Russia [JURIST report] instead of the US because the Swiss Supreme Court [official website, in German] ruled that Adamov should be tried in Russia [JURIST report] because he is a Russian citizen and his crimes were allegedly committed in Russia. Russia has also resisted US requests for Adamov's extradition, citing a constitutional prohibition on the extradition of Russian citizens to foreign jurisdictions. AP has more.

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