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Kyrgyz Conductor Jailed In Russia On Drug Charges

(ITAR-TASS) PRAGUE, September 6, 2006 (RFE/RL) -- The Russian Prosecutor-General's Office today said that a court in Barnaul, the main city of Siberia's Altai Krai, has sentenced a Kyrgyz national to nine years in prison on drug-trafficking charges.

It was not immediately clear when the verdict was reached.

The Prosecutor-General's Office said in a statement that Nurmanbek Niyazaliev, a conductor of the Bishkek-Novokuznetsk passenger train, was arrested in October 2005 after he had dropped a bag that contained 1.2 kilograms of hashish hidden in match boxes.

The Barnaul district court has ruled that Niyazaliev should serve his sentence in a high-security prison colony and pay the Russian state a $19,000 fine.

The court has also sentenced Niazaliev's accomplice, Igor Shcherbakov, to eight years in jail and a similar fine.