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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Suspended Sentence Sought for Okhotin

Prosecutors on Wednesday demanded a six-month suspended sentence in a smuggling trial against U.S. Baptist missionary Andrew Okhotin, in what defense lawyers interpreted as an acknowledgement that the prosecution didn't have much of a case.

The verdict is to be announced when the Moscow court reconvenes Friday.

Okhotin, 28, was arrested in March after flying in to Sheremetyevo Airport from New York with $48,000 in cash, which he said was donations for Baptist congregations in Russia.

Okhotin reiterated in court Wednesday that he had inadvertently chosen a customs corridor intended for people with nothing to declare. He said he had a properly completed customs form, which he presented at officials' request.

The law places no limit on the amount of money that can be brought into the country, as long anything over $10,000 is declared. A person cannot be convicted of smuggling unless criminal intent is proven -- something that defense lawyers said Wednesday that the prosecution has failed to do.