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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

News in Brief

Police Free Kazakh Editor

ALMATY, Kazakhstan -- Moscow region police freed the editor of Kazakhstan's main opposition newspaper on Monday after detaining her over the weekend at the request of Kazakh prosecutors, the Kazakh opposition said.

The opposition said they feared a crackdown after protests in Ukraine last year and a coup in Kyrgyzstan last month overthrew long-serving rulers.

Police in Volokolamsk detained Irina Petrushova, editor of the Respublika weekly, on Saturday. A Russian national, she has lived in Russia since she fled Kazakhstan in 2002 after an arson attack on her newspaper. (Reuters)

FSB Takes Over Bribe Probe

The Federal Security Service, or FSB, has taken over an investigation of a Finance Ministry official accused of accepting a Mercedes in exchange for passing information about Vietnam's Soviet-era debt, Kommersant reported Monday.

Denis Mikhailov, deputy director of the Finance Ministry's international financial relations, is accused of passing on the information to banker Alexei Kirzhenyov and businessman Teimuraz Korchava in exchange for the 87,000 euro ($114,000) car, Kommersant said. Kirzhenyov and Korchava were trying to purchase the rights to the Vietnamese debt for a private company, it said.

Mikhailov's lawyers told the newspaper they did not know why the Prosecutor General's Office had handed over the case to the FSB. (MT)

Mystery Writer Vainer Dies

Renowned mystery writer Arkady Vainer died of heart failure in Moscow on Sunday, Interfax reported Monday. He was 75.

Vainer gained fame with detective novels he wrote with his brother Georgy. Their novel "Era of Mercy" was made into the 1979 film "Mesto Vstrechi Izmenit Nelzya," starring the bard Vladimir Vysotsky. Born in Moscow in 1931, Vainer studied law at Moscow State University and worked as a police detective before starting to write. (MT)

Police Language Problem

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka -- Prostitutes from Russia, Ukraine and China are successfully eluding convictions in Sri Lanka because local police do not have enough translators to help them complete cases, Sri Lankan police said Monday.

"In most cases, we are not even able to record their statements as they say they can only speak and write in their native tongue," said Sarath Lugoda, a senior police official.

Lugoda said police had asked for help from foreign embassies, but those requests were often ignored. (AP)

For the Record

Former Federal Security Service officer Mikhail Trepashkin, who was convicted of divulging state secrets and of possessing weapons, appealed the verdict Monday, arguing that the case was unfounded and illegal. (AP)

Kyrgyzstan's former security chief and key opposition leader Felix Kulov formally announced Monday his candidacy for the presidential election in July, which was called after the ouster of the country's longtime leader. (AP)