Saturday, August 26, 2006

Ex-Leader of Ukraine Sentenced to Prison

SAN FRANCISCO -- Former Ukrainian prime minister Pavlo Lazarenko was sentenced Friday to nine years in federal prison for money laundering, wire fraud and extortion.

The sentence, which also included $10 million in fines, was half of the maximum sought by prosecutors, who said Lazarenko misused his office in the former Soviet republic to get rich.

Lazarenko, 53, was the first former head of government to be tried in the United States since Manuel Noriega of Panama. A jury in U.S. District Court convicted Lazarenko in June 2004, and he has since been under house arrest at an undisclosed location in lieu of $86 million bail.

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· MINNEAPOLIS -- Former president Gerald R. Ford underwent angioplasty at the Mayo Clinic, his spokeswoman said. On Monday, doctors at the clinic had fitted Ford with an implantable cardiac pacemaker to regulate his heartbeat.

· NEW YORK -- Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) had Connecticut Senate candidate Ned Lamont over to her Westchester County home for coffee Friday. They discussed campaign strategy and she offered to host a fundraiser, a spokesman for the senator said.

· MIAMI -- The 2006 Atlantic hurricane season's fifth named storm, Ernesto, formed in the eastern Caribbean Sea, the National Hurricane Center said. The storm was 300 miles south-southwest of San Juan, Puerto Rico.

· SAN FRANCISCO -- Umer Hayat, a California man arrested in an investigation into whether his son had links to terrorism training camps, was sentenced by a federal judge to time served and 36 months of supervised release for making a false statement to the FBI.

-- From News Services

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