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Suspect in Russian governor's murder extradited from Spain

MOSCOW, August 17 (RIA Novosti) - A suspect in the murder of a Russian Far East regional governor five years ago has been extradited from Spain to Russia, and will be put in a Moscow detention center.

Alexander Zakharov, charged with murdering the governor of the remote Magadan Region, Valentin Tsvetkov, in Moscow in October 2002, left Madrid Friday afternoon and arrived at Moscow's Sheremetyevo airport escorted by guards at 7:30 p.m. local time (3:30 p.m. GMT), a RIA Novosti correspondent reported.

Zakharov, 37, was arrested in Spain in July 2006 along with another suspect in the case, Martin Babakekhyan. Both had been on an international wanted list since May 2003.

Spanish judiciaries decided to extradite Zakharov in March. An extradition ruling on Babakekhyan is still pending.

Two other suspects, Masis Akhunts and Artur Anisimov, are currently serving jail terms for other serious crimes.

The inquiry focused on Magadan's gold mining industry, which received special federal investment in 1995. Seven years later, only part of the money had been returned to the federal budget, and Tsvetkov was actively working to pay back the funds.

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