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Court hearing for Kamchatka crab case postponed until July 25


PETROPAVLOVSK-KAMCHATKA, July 19 (RIA Novosti, Oksana Guseva). A court hearing on the largest "crab affair" in Kamchatka - a case involving Aleksey Kozlov, who is accused of organizing the illegal harvest of more than 2,000 metric tons of crab in an exclusively Russian economic zone and selling it to the U.S. - has been postponed until June 25.

Presiding judge Roman Tsabadze said the postponement was due to the absence of Kozlov's lawyer, who is currently in Moscow.

The paperwork for the court case, which has been ongoing for two years, totals over 120 volumes.

It is alleged that from June 1998 to February 2000 boats owned by Kozlov's firms Marimplex and Chukotryba illegally caught over 2,000 metric tons of various types of crab, all of which was sold to the U.S. The loss to Russian interests has been estimated at over $30 million.

Kozlov may face up to 10 years in prison.

The accused, free on $1 million bail, awaits the court's decision.

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