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4 June 2004 -- Ukraine's former Prime Minister Pavlo Lazarenko has said he will appeal his conviction in a U.S. federal court for money laundering, wire fraud, and extortion.

The jury found Lazarenko guilty on 3 June of all 29 criminal counts against him in the San Francisco court.

Defense attorneys said he could face up to five years in prison.

The judge in the case declined to send Lazarenko immediately to jail. He will remain under house arrest until sentencing.

Prosecutors argued Lazarenko abused his position as Ukrainian prime minister in 1996-97 to steal from his country and enrich himself.

He denied the charges, saying he legitimately earned his wealth.

Lazarenko is also facing charges in Ukraine and was previously convicted in absentia in Switzerland of money laundering.

(AP/Reuters/dpa)
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