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    Russian lawyer released from custody in Spain on bail

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    MADRID, October 19 (RIA Novosti) - Russian lawyer Alexander Gofstein, who has spent almost a year in custody in Spain on money laundering charges, has been released after posting 200,000-euro bail, the Russian Embassy said.

    "Having considered an appeal of the Russian defense, the National Court of Spain decided to... release him on a 200,000-euro [$285,000] bail pending trial," an embassy official said citing a legal source.

    The Moscow lawyer was detained by police in Spain on November 22 last year in a major crackdown on the Russian and Georgian mafias operating in the country.

    Spanish police then said Gofstein had arrived from Moscow to meet with his client, Zakhar Kalashov, in a jail near Madrid. Police also said Kalashov was thought to be a Georgian mafia chief.

    Gofstein and another eight people who were arrested during the special police operation are thought to have laundered the crime group's funds through legal businesses in Spain, local police said. The first phase of the operation yielded 31 arrests in Spain in June 2005.

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