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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

News in Brief

Sentence Too Light

MOSCOW (AP) Military prosecutors have filed an appeal in the case of former diplomat Valentin Moiseyev, saying the 4 1/2-year sentence given to him for spying for South Korea was too light, a spokesman said Tuesday.

Moiseyev was convicted Aug. 14. He was previously convicted in 1999, but the Supreme Court overturned that verdict and ordered a retrial.

In the second conviction, Judge Marina Komarova reduced the sentence below the minimum 12 years set by the Criminal Code, taking into account Moiseyevs good behavior, his confinement since July 1998 and other mitigating factors. But the Chief Military Prosecutors Office filed an appeal to the Supreme Court on Aug. 20 contending that the shorter sentence does not correspond to the seriousness of the crime, a spokesman for the office said Tuesday.

Moiseyevs lawyers also plan to appeal the verdict, saying the conviction relied on a law that was passed after the time when Moiseyev allegedly engaged in his spying activities.

Drug Trial Opens

MINSK, Belarus (AP) The American director of a U.S. student-exchange program in Belarus went on trial Tuesday in the Minsk Central Court on charges of marijuana possession, organizing a drug den and inciting others to use drugs.

Charles Perriello, director of the Belarussian office of the American Council for Collaboration in Education and Language Study, or ACCELS, was arrested in June by the Belarussian secret service.

No details of the proceedings were immediately available, including the possible sentence. The U.S. Embassy in Minsk refused to comment.

No Estonian President

TALLINN, Estonia (Reuters) Estonias parliament, meeting to pick the countrys second post-Soviet president, failed to settle on a winner Tuesday in its third and final round of voting.

Electoral commission head Heiki Sibul told the chamber that neither opposition candidate Peeter Kreitzberg nor academic Peeter Tulviste gained the 68 votes necessary to win the presidential election in their second face-off of the day. Each received 33 votes.

The deadlock automatically sends the presidential race to the electoral college, made up of members of parliament and local government representatives, which is scheduled to meet Sept. 21. If it fails to pick a president, the vote will return to parliament.

Cloning Ban Urged

MOSCOW (AP) The government announced Tuesday that it has asked parliament to approve a bill that would temporarily ban human cloning.

The decree was signed on Aug. 23, according to the governments press service.

The statement did not elaborate, but Ekho Moskvy radio reported that the ban would last for five years and would prohibit the import of human embryos produced by cloning.

NATO Aided Rebels

MOSCOW (MT) Macedonian ambassador Dimitar Dimitrov said Tuesday that "certain semi-military agencies within NATO" were aiding ethnic-Albanian rebels in Macedonia, Interfax reported.

Dimitrov, speaking at a round-table discussion on the Balkan situation, said 17 NATO officers from the United States took part in a rebel operation in Aracinovo on the border with Kosovo during the summer, the agency reported. Interfax added that the operation was an attempt to seize the