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Former Russian Customs Official Convicted


VLADIVOSTOK -- Ernest Bakhshetsian, the former head of the Far East branch of Russia's Customs Service, has been convicted of abuse of office and sentenced to five years in prison, RFE/RL's Russian Service reports.

Bakhshetsian's lawyer, Tatyana Belovtseva, told RFE/RL she will appeal the verdict.

The regional prosecutor has said he will appeal the sentence, calling for harsher punishment because Bakhshetsian was allegedly involved in massive smuggling.
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