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Swiss court orders early release of Russian in Skyguide killing-1

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A Zurich court ordered the early release of a Russian convicted of murdering an air traffic controller in revenge for a 2002 air crash that killed his family, the Swiss Telegraphic Agency said.
(Adds details, prosecutor's quote in paras. 4-5)

GENEVA, August 17 (RIA Novosti) - A Zurich court ordered the early release of a Russian convicted of murdering an air traffic controller in revenge for a 2002 air crash that killed his family, the Swiss Telegraphic Agency said.

Vitaly Kaloyev, a 50-year-old architect, was imprisoned in October 2005 after being found guilty of killing Peter Nielsen in February 2004. Nielsen was on duty for Swiss air traffic control company Skyguide when the Russian's wife and two children died in a plane crash in airspace controlled by the company over Germany.

The prosecution has already filed an appeal against the court's decision with the Swiss Federal Court, the country's highest court. Kaloyev could have been released from prison next Friday if the appeal had not been filed.

Ulrich Weder, the Zurich cantonal chief prosecutor, said the decision on the early release was made by the court on Wednesday, but declined to say when the prosecutors' appeal would be considered.

"I cannot say when a decision will be made. The law does not set fixed terms under such circumstances. Moreover, we have a very complicated case here," Weder said.

The Tupolev 154 airliner underwent a midair collision with a Boeing 757 cargo plane on July 1, 2002 over Lake Constance, in Germany, near the Swiss border. All 69 people on board the plane flying from Bashkortostan in the Urals, including 45 children, were killed in the crash. The two pilots from the cargo plane were also killed in the tragedy.

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