News in Brief

Spain Extradites Suspect

Spain on Saturday extradited a suspect in the 2002 assassination of Magadan Governor Valentin Tsvetkov, Interfax reported.

The suspect, Martin Babakekhyan, is accused of participating in the shooting death on Moscow's Arbat and attempting to kill a Magadan representative in Moscow, Pyotr Shapka, the report said. He is suspected of belonging to an organized crime group.

Babakekhyan arrived Saturday morning at Sheremetyevo Airport and was jailed at a Moscow pretrial detention center. It was unclear when he might go on trial. (MT)

Domodedovo Airport Glitch

The passport control computer system crashed at Moscow's Domodedovo Airport on Saturday evening, leading to long lines of passengers but no flight delays, Interfax reported.

An airport spokesman said passports had to be checked manually, which took five to seven minutes per person rather than the usual two minutes, the report said.

The glitch, which occurred at 6:30 p.m., affected only the passport control computers and was repaired within hours. (MT)

Azeri Editor Gets 18 Months

BAKU, Azerbaijan -- A Baku court on Friday sentenced a newspaper editor to 18 months of "corrective labor" for libel for printing a series of articles alleging corruption at the state-owned publishing house.

Avaz Zeynalli, editor-in-chief of the small independent newspaper Khural, vowed to appeal the sentence, handed down by the Narimovsky District Court. The sentence allows him to continue working, but stipulates that 15 percent of his monthly wages be garnished to the state.

"My guilt was not proven at all," he said. (AP)

Border Gunbattle Kills One

BAKU, Azerbaijan -- An Azeri officer was killed in a gunbattle with a group of people who were trying to cross into the country illegally from Iran, Azerbaijan's border patrol service said Saturday.

Border guards drove the group back into Iranian territory, but one officer was wounded in the exchange of gunfire and died in a hospital, the border service said.

It did not say why the armed group might have been seeking to enter Azerbaijan. The border is a smuggling route for narcotics from Iran and Afghanistan to western Russia and Europe. (AP)

2 Dead in Suspected Leak

LONDON -- Two crew members were found dead on a Latvian-registered container ship in the English Channel after a suspected chemical leak, police said Saturday.

The two, who are thought to be Latvian or Russian, died late Friday on the ship Sava Lake, police said.

There were no injuries to the five other crew on the 90-meter vessel, which was carrying ferrous metal from Denmark to Portugal, police said. (AP)