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Russian Presidential Hopeful Gets Suspended Sentence

Arkhangelsk Mayor Aleksandr Donskoi appearing in court (ITAR-TASS) September 4, 2007 -- The mayor of a Russian city who has reportedly been pressured by authorities since he announced plans to seek the presidency has received a suspended sentence and will remain in jail to face other charges.

Aleksandr Donskoi, mayor of the northwestern city of Arkhangelsk, was given a suspended one-year sentence on charges of illegal business activities and using a fake diploma. The court also ordered him to pay a $3,000 fine.

Donskoi, 37, who has been in jail since his arrest in July, will remain in custody to face separate charges of abuse of office that are still pending.

Regional prosecutors accuse Donskoi of using funds from the mayor's office to pay for personal security for himself and his family. He may face up to seven years in prison if convicted.

Donskoi last year announced plans to run for president in 2008.

(AP, ITAR-Tass, Reuters)

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