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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

News in Brief

Rokhlina Sentence Cut

The Associated Press

A court on Thursday reduced the eight-year prison sentence of the widow of prominent lawmaker General Lev Rokhlin, who was convicted of shooting her husband to death after a quarrel in 1998.

Tamara Rokhlina was arrested and initially confessed to the killing but later said she made the confession under duress. She said that Rokhlin was killed by his security guards because of his fierce criticism of then-President Boris Yeltsin.

Rokhlina was convicted and sentenced to eight years in prison by a court in the town of Naro-Fominsk, outside Moscow, last month.

Her lawyers appealed for a reduced sentence, and the Moscow regional court Thursday agreed to slash the term to four years in prison, Itar-Tass reported.

Putin Praises Troops

The Associated Press

NAZRAN, Ingushetia — As rebels and federal troops clashed in several regions of Chechnya, President Vladimir Putin on Thursday praised the servicemen who have been conducting the war to reassert Moscow’s control over the breakaway republic.

"Thanks to your courage and fortitude, due to the selflessness of all those who carry out difficult and dangerous work in Chechnya, we have achieved serious progress this year," Putin said at a ceremony in Moscow, where he handed out state awards to soldiers.

"The bandits’ main forces have been destroyed, but we haven’t done the key thing, we haven’t put an end to it. Yet we will restore both law and order there," he said.

Gusinsky Hearing

The Associated Press

A Moscow court on Thursday opened hearings on an appeal by lawyers for Vladimir Gusinsky, saying fraud charges against the media mogul were unsubstantiated and illegal.

Gusinsky was arrested in Spain last week on a warrant issued by Moscow.

Gusinsky’s lawyers filed suit in a Moscow city court demanding that the prosecutor general drop the case for lack of evidence.

The Prosecutor General’s Office has asked the court to continue preventing Gusinsky’s lawyers from seeing the evidence to be used in the case against him, said Media-MOST spokesman Dmitry Ostalsky.

The court adjourned until Friday, with no decision made, Ostalsky said.

Netanyahu Visits

The Moscow Times

Former Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu arrived in Moscow on Thursday to participate in the start of Hanukkah at the Jewish Community Center, Interfax reported.

Netanyahu, who this week dropped out of the race to become his country’s next prime minister, planned to leave Moscow on Friday.

President Vladimir Putin was also expected to visit the Jewish Community Center on Thursday evening to help kick off Hanukkah, Interfax said.

110,000 CDs Seized

The Associated Press

SOFIA, Bulgaria — Police on the Bulgarian-Romanian border on Thursday arrested a Russian national after customs officials seized 110,000 pirate compact disks from a truck he was traveling in, the state BTA news agency reported.

The CDs were hidden in the back of a Greek-owned truck on its way from Ukraine to Greece.

Bulgarian police have prevented more than 1 million pirate CDs from being smuggled into the country since the start of the year, the Interior Ministry announced.