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Russian Professor Acquitted of Smuggling in Iraq

An Islamic Sharia court in Iraq has acquitted a Russian law school professor who was detained in the country on suspicion of smuggling earlier this month.

The Russian Embassy in Iraq told Senator Mikhail Marchenko that court had released Alexander Gorbachyov from custody, Interfax reported Wednesday.

Gorbachyov, chair of the legal studies department at Bryansk State University in western Russia, is expected to return to Russia on Wednesday or Thursday, Marchenko said.

He was detained by customs officials when he tried to leave Iraq with fragments of pottery he acquired while on a guided tour of the country, a spokesman from the university said.

Iraqi officials justified his detention by saying that the pottery may have had a "cultural and historic value."

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