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U.S. jury finds Russian diplomat guilty of money laundering conspiracy

NEW YORK, March 7 (RIA Novosti) - A U.S. jury has found a former high-ranking UN official, Russian Vladimir Kuznetsov, guilty of involvement in a conspiracy to launder money, a RIA Novosti correspondent reported Wednesday.

The judge said sentencing will be June 25.

Kuznetsov, a former UN official, was arrested in the United States on September 1, 2005, on money-laundering charges in a scandal that rocked the global organization.

He pleaded not guilty and was released on $1.5 million bail from the Russian government. He has been in New York under house arrest since.

Kuznetsov chaired the United Nations' influential Budget Oversight Committee. He was indicted by a New York court for setting up an offshore company in 2000, allegedly to launder money received from a UN procurement official, who, prosecutors said, had taken bribes from foreign companies seeking contracts with the organization.

Then UN Secretary General Kofi Annan lifted his diplomatic immunity before his arrest.

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