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Moscow Court Finds Russian Nationalist Guilty Of Money Laundering

  • RFE/RL's Kazakh Service

Aleksandr Potkin, also known as Aleksandr Belov, at his court hearing in Moscow on August 24.

Aleksandr Potkin, also known as Aleksandr Belov, at his court hearing in Moscow on August 24.

A Moscow court has sentenced to prison the leader of the banned "Russians" nationalist movement on extremism and money laundering charges.

The court on August 24 found Aleksandr Potkin, also known as Belov, guilty of creating an extremist group and laundering money stolen from Kazakhstan's BTA bank and sentenced him to 7 1/2 years in jail the same day.

Potkin is an alleged associate of Kazakh tycoon Mukhtar Ablyazov, who is in custody in France.

The court also found Potkin guilty of creating an extremist group.

Potkin was arrested in October 2014 on suspicion of being involved in the embezzlement of $5 billion from BTA bank in Kazakhstan. He denies any wrongdoing and says the case against him is politically motivated.

The main suspect in the case, BTA's former chief, Ablyazov, is wanted by Kazakhstan, Russia, and Ukraine.

Ablyazov, a Kazakh government critic, was arrested on the French Riviera in July 2013.

He is currently fighting against a court ruling to extradite him to Russia.

Based on reporting by TASS and Interfax
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