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2 Convicted in 2002 Killing of Magadan Governor

Former Magadan Governor Vladimir Tsvetkov

A jury trial has convicted two men of helping organize the 2002 killing of Magadan Governor Valentin Tsvetkov, who was shot in broad daylight as he exited a car on Novy Arbat.

Vladimir Golban, 50, and Sergei Filippenko, 42, were convicted on Wednesday and will be sentenced as early as Tuesday, the Moscow City Court said in a statement.

The defendants' motive for the killing remains unclear.

According to one theory, the men were angry about Tsvetkov's efforts to recoup federal subsidies to regional gold miners and processors, the Rapsi judicial news agency reported.

Tsvetkov angered local businessman by plowing millions of dollars of regional funds into an empire of state-owned companies run by crony officials and putting pressure on companies that were beyond his control.

The death of Tsvetkov, who was shot while walking to the Magadan administration's representative office, represented the first assassination of a governor in post-Soviet Russia. President Vladimir Putin at the time called the slaying a "crime against the state."

Four other people were convicted last year of participating in the killing and were sentenced to prison terms of 13 ? to 19 years. The Supreme Court subsequently reduced some of the sentences.

The mastermind of the killing remains unidentified.

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