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    Court extends detention of Russian space firm chief -1

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    MOSCOW, November 29 (RIA Novosti) - A Russian court on Wednesday extended the pre-trial detention of the head of an aerospace engineering firm charged with divulging sensitive technology to China.

    Tsniimash-Export CEO Igor Reshetin, detained last month on charges of embezzlement and illegal transfer of state-controlled technology, will have to remain in custody for another two months, under the Moscow City Court's ruling. His initial detention term expires on December 9.

    The firm run by Reshetin was set up in 1991 as the export arm of Tsniimash, a leading rocket and space technology developer incorporating Russia's mission control.

    The defendant is charged with transferring precision engineering technology to a Chinese corporation in violation of state export controls, and diverting 30 million rubles ($1.14 million) through schemes involving front companies.

    Two of his deputies - Sergei Tverdokhlebov and Alexander Rozhkin - are also facing criminal charges in connection with the alleged theft.

    Analysts say Russian technology may have formed the basis of China's manned space program, with two successful orbital missions carried out to date.

    Reshetin's defense team said they would appeal the court ruling extending his pre-trial detention to February 9.

    "Prosecutors have not submitted any new evidence that could serve as a foundation for extending the detention term for my client," defense lawyer Anatoly Yablokov said after Wednesday's court hearing.

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