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Russian Court Sentences Trepashkin's Lawyer

(RFE/RL) Prague, 2 December 2005 (RFE/RL) -- A Russian court has sentenced the lawyer of a former security officer convicted of treason to 6 1/2 years in jail on drug-dealing charges.

But the court in Moscow ruled on 1 December that attorney Sergei Brovchenko already served his sentence in pretrial custody and that he should not be arrested again.

Brovchenko says the cocaine reportedly found on him in 1997 was planted.

Brovchenko is the lawyer of Mikhail Trepashkin, a retired Federal Security Service (FSB) colonel who was sentenced to four years in a penal colony in 2004 on charges of disclosing state secrets.

Trepashkin was paroled in August, but sent back to jail in September.

Before his arrest, Trepashkin had conducted his own probe into the 1999 Moscow apartment-building bombings that Russia cited to wage the second war in Chechnya.

Trepashkin has suggested that the FSB may have been involved in the deadly blasts.

(with material from ITAR-TASS)

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