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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Russia Posts $500,000 Bail to Free Jailed UN Official

UNITED NATIONS -- A Russian UN official accused of money laundering was freed from jail Friday after the Russian government posted $500,000 bail.

Vladimir Kuznetsov, who chaired the powerful UN budget oversight committee, had been in jail since Sept. 1 on an indictment charging that he conspired with a UN procurement officer to launder hundreds of thousands of dollars from foreign companies seeking contracts with the world body.

"We can confirm that he was freed today after bail was paid," said Maria Zakharova, press secretary at Russia's UN Mission. "Russia paid the $500,000 bail and hopes that this will lead to the case moving forward."

Kuznetsov was arrested by the FBI and charged with conspiracy to launder money in an indictment that was unsealed at U.S. District Court in New York City. He has pleaded innocent.

Moscow is keeping a close eye on the case and is providing him with full consular assistance, Foreign Ministry spokesman Mikhail Troyansky said.

UN officials said the charges stemmed from an internal UN investigation of another Russian, Alexander Yakovlev, who worked in the UN procurement office.