Russian ex-Diplomat Appeals his Jail Sentence in USA
Vladimir Kuznetsov a former Russian UN official, who was sentenced to 4.25 years in prison for money laundering said his lawyers have launched an appeal.
“My lawyers, in line with U.S. procedures, have given official notice of the appeal. The appeal will be presented over a period of one month, as the defense will be putting forward new arguments,” said Vladimir Kuznetsov, who has been under house arrest in New York for the past two years.
Vladimir Kuznetsov was a Russian diplomat who was the head of the United Nations Committee for Administrative and Budgetary Issues.
In March 2007, he was convicted in New York City of one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering. Kuznetsov was indicted in September 2005 following a guilty plea and immediate cooperation by the former UN official Alexander Yakovlev, who is facing 19 years in jail on a conspiracy to commit money laundering charge and has not yet been sentenced. Yakovlev’s lawyer, Arkady Bukh, has stated that he expects Mr. Yakovlev’s sentence to be reduced in exchange for Yakovlev’s testimony at trial. There is no official agreement on his sentence yet.
Kuznetsov, 49, was sentenced earlier this month by a district court and ordered to pay a total of $73,000 in fines. He denies the charges against him.
“The defense team’s additional arguments will relate to infringements of my constitutional rights, including the right to diplomatic immunity,” he said.
The ex-diplomat, who worked as a Russian expert in the United Nations Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions, was arrested in September 2005 after borrowing $300,000 from a Russian colleague, knowing that the funds had been acquired by criminal efforts.
He was found guilty by a jury of his peers in March.
Kuznetsov previously held diplomatic immunity as a UN employee, but after former secretary general Kofi Annan revoked the status, the FBI was allowed to arrest and have him prosecuted.
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