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Actress, Convicted of Arson in France, Freed

Actress Natalya Zakharova, convicted of arson in France in 2006, was released Tuesday from a prison in the Kostroma region where she was serving her sentence, Interfax said.

Zakharova was given three years behind bars by a Paris court for torching the apartment of her ex-husband, with whom she clashed over custody of her daughter, Maria. The actress was stripped of parental rights in France in 2004 for her “suffocating the love of her daughter,” the report said.

Zakharova, who holds dual Russian and French citizenship, avoided arrest by returning to Russia but was detained in January when she traveled to France.

She was sent back to Russia to serve her sentence, but President Dmitry Medvedev pardoned her last week.

Zakharova plans to return to France and proceed with a campaign to obtain custody of her daughter, who is now aged 16 and living in foster care, the report said. Prior to that, she will perform a one-man show, “Faces of Love,” based on Russian classics, in the Kostroma city theater next week, reported.

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