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Moscow court says ex-nuclear minister's custody extension legal

MOSCOW, May 15 (RIA Novosti) - Moscow City Court ruled Monday that a decision by a district court to extend the detention of former nuclear minister Yevgeny Adamov until next month was legal.

Lawyers acting for Adamov, currently facing charges of embezzlement and abuse of office, had argued that the decision handed down April 5 by the Basmanny court to extend custody until June 8 was illegal.

The Prosecutor General's Office officially charged Adamov, 67, on December 31, 2005, after a long battle to secure his extradition from Switzerland, where he had been arrested at the request of the United States in May. He has been held in custody since his return to Russia.

The U.S. accused Adamov, who served as nuclear power minister 1998-2001, of misappropriating $9 million given to Russia for nuclear safety projects. He would have faced 60 years in prison if convicted in the U.S.

On October 3, the Swiss Federal Justice Department announced it would extradite the former minister to the U.S., but Adamov's defense team filed an appeal with the Federal Tribunal, Switzerland's Supreme Court, in Lausanne in November. On December 22, the Lausanne court upheld the appeal and ruled that Adamov be extradited to Russia because the country submitted its extradition request first.

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