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Spain will soon extradite a suspect in the 2002 murder
Spain will soon extradite a suspect in the 2002 murder of Valentin Tsvetkov, former governor of Russia's Far East region of Magadan, top prosecutors said on Thursday.

"Spanish authorities honored in December 2007 the request of the Russian Prosecutor General's Office for the extradition of Martin Babakekhyan, accused of involvement in the murder of the Magadan Region's governor," the Prosecutor General's Office said in a statement on its website.

Tsvetkov was gunned down near his region's representative office in central Moscow on October 18, 2002. A year later, the Prosecutor General's Office declared the case solved. Two suspects were arrested, and another five, including Babakekhyan and Alexander Zakharov, were put on the wanted list in May 2003.

Spain extradited Zakharov, 38, to Russia in July of 2007 a year after he was arrested in the Mediterranean resort of Marbella along with Babakekhyan.

"Babakekhyan will be handed over to representatives of the Russian law enforcement bodies in the nearest future and will then be transferred to Moscow, where he will be put in a detention facility for investigative questioning," the statement said.

Two other suspects, Masis Akhunts and Artur Anisimov, are currently serving jail terms for other serious crimes.

The inquiry focused on Magadan's gold mining industry, which received special federal investment in 1995. Seven years later, only part of the money had been returned to the federal budget, and Tsvetkov was actively working to ensure the funds were paid back.


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