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Crime Briefs - US lawyer gets 3 years in prison in Belarus
MINSK, Belarus (AP) - An Ame­rican lawyer has been sentenced to three years in prison in Belarus in a case that raised already high tensions between Washington and the authoritarian ex-Soviet republic.

Emmanuel Zeltser's sentencing Monday comes after being convicted at a closed trial for commercial espionage and using false documents. He is an expert on organized crime and money laundering.

The United States raised protests over his detention and raised concerns about his health in custody. His attorney says he is not getting proper medication for diabetes.

Three detained for murder of Cameroon national in southern Russia

■ ULYANOVSK (RIA Novosti) - Police have detained three men suspected of killing a Cameroon national during a quarrel in the Volga city of Ulyanovsk, the local police press service said on Monday.

The body of the 34-year-old African was found overnight Sunday. Inves­tigators said the victim, who was employed as a DJ in a local club, was stabbed on his way home after stopping to chat to three local men.

The spokesperson said it is believed it was a routine attack and not a racially-motivated murder.

Moscow reporter given 8 years for blackmailing government minister

■ MOSCOW (MN) - The deputy editor-in-chief of the Nezavisimaya Gazeta newspaper has been sentenced to eight years in a penal colony after a Moscow court found him guilty of extortion and the possession of illegal drugs.

Court officials told the press on Tuesday that the editor, Boris Zemtsov, used the materials prepared by the correspondents of the newspaper to blackmail Russian Agriculture Minister Aleksei Gordeyev. The journalist demanded monthly payments for not making public some compromising materials, but the minister turned to the police, and Zemtsov was detained while receiving cash from one of the minister's aides.

While performing a search in the journalist's apartment policemen found nine grams of marijuana and the convict was also charged with illegal drugs possession. 

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