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Russia court convicts former nuclear minister for corruption scheme

[JURIST] Former Russian Atomic Minister Yevgeny Adamov [Kommersant profile; JURIST news archive] was found guilty in Moscow's Zamoskvoretsky District Court Tuesday of fraud and abuse of office for his involvement in a corruption scheme which misappropriated millions of dollars of US aid designated to upgrade unsafe Russian RBMK nuclear reactors [GlobalSecurity backgrounder]. Adamov and co-defendants Vyacheslav Pismenny and Revmir Frayshut had been charged with stealing shares in a uranium joint venture between the US and Russia, totaling $31 million. The entire verdict will be read Wednesday, with sentencing expected to follow. Adamov, who continues to assert his innocence, faces up to nine years in prison. His lawyer said he would appeal the decision.

Adamov was arrested [JURIST report] in Switzerland in 2005 on a US warrant on charges of fraud and money laundering; also implicated was Russian nuclear engineer Mark M. Kaushansky. Despite repeated US extradition requests, the Swiss Supreme Court ruled that Adamov should be tried in Russia [JURIST report] because he is a Russian citizen and his crimes were allegedly committed in Russia. In August 2006, Adamov's case was thrown out due to factual errors in court filings [JURIST report]; the latest proceedings began in April 2007. Kaushansky, who immigrated to the United States in 1979, was extradited to the US and was sentenced to 15 months in prison [JURIST report] last June. AP has more.

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