Ex-Minister Convicted of Hate Crime

A Novosibirsk court on Tuesday convicted former Press Minister Boris Mironov of inciting ethnic hatred but released him because the statute of limitations had expired.

The charges against Mironov, 56, stem from two articles he contributed to a local election campaign pamphlet in 2003 that prosecutors said contained anti-Semitic remarks.

"In the opinion of experts, the publications were aimed at inciting hatred toward the Jewish nation," Judge Grigory Brakar said while delivering the verdict, Interfax reported.

Prosecutors had asked that Mironov be sentenced to two years in prison,

Mironov served as press minister under President Boris Yeltsin from December 1993 until September 1994. During his tenure, Izvestia and Moskovskiye Novosti campaigned against him for his nationalist, anti-Semitic remarks. In 2000 he helped arrange a news conference in Moscow for former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke.