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    Japanese Prosecutors Agree to Acquit Russian National of Gun Smuggling Charges

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    Japanese prosecutors have agreed to acquit Andrei Novoselov, a Russian national who has served a two-year jail term in Japan for smuggling arms into the country, due to a possibly illegal setup that resulted in his arrest, local media said Wednesday.

    TOKYO (Sputnik) — The prosecutors and the defense taking part in a review of Novoselov's two-decade-old gun smuggling case agreed not to insist on the former sailor's guilt due to the dubious nature of the operation that had resulted in his arrest, the Kyodo news agency reported.

    The review has been scheduled for February 23 and lawyers are seeking to allow Novoselov's entry into the country despite Japanese law banning former foreign detainees from gaining a visa.

    Novoselov was arrested in 1997 on the Hokkaido island after trying to sell a handgun to an undercover agent who proposed the deal in exchange for a car. The details of the operation were revealed by a police officer in 2013, after which a Hokkaido court accepted a request to review the case. Prosecutors filed a complaint but it was rejected by a higher court.

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    gun smuggling, Japan, Russia
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