News in Brief

Ex-Diplomat Wins Lawsuit

A former diplomat convicted of espionage has won 30,000 euros ($40,600) from the Russian government in the European Court of Human Rights.

The court ruled that Valentin Moiseyev, who was convicted of spying for South Korea in 1999 and served 4 1/2 years in prison, had been deprived of a fair trial and legal representation, Novaya Gazeta reported Monday. (MT)

McCain Backers Seek Votes

Three weeks before the U.S. presidential elections, supporters for Republican candidate John McCain are trying to organize themselves in Russia.

Len Nebons, a Moscow-based headhunter and hedge fund director, said Monday that he would act as McCain's "rally guy" for Russia. "I have been in touch with the McCain campaign and offered help. Now we are rallying the troops," he said.

He acknowledged that it was late for regular mail and that most ballots would need to be sent by courier.

Nebons said he had no ties to Republicans Abroad, which has weaker links to the Republican Party than Democrats Abroad, which has held several pre-election events in Moscow. (MT)

Protest Over Hijacked Ship

KIEV -- Angry relatives of crew members on a hijacked Ukrainian arms ship demanded Monday that the Ukrainian government stop delaying and just pay a multimillion-dollar ransom to the Somali pirates holding the ship.

The relatives accused the authorities of inaction in the crisis, which has dragged on for more than two weeks. They tried and failed Monday to meet with President Viktor Yushchenko over the ransom demand. (AP)

Newlyweds Get a Hearse

A newly married Moscow couple is suing a wedding agency for sending them a black hearse instead of the traditional white limousine.

Irina and Yevgeny Gaiduk are demanding 1 million rubles from the agency as compensation for the messed-up wedding and honeymoon, Moskovsky Komsomolets reported Monday. The couple had ordered and paid for a white limousine several months before the wedding. But when the hearse arrived to take them to the wedding palace, they had to use it because they had no time to order a different car. (MT)