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Lawyer cleared in Bloomberg extortion case

Awaiting deportation

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Charges against a Kazakhstan lawyer imprisoned for more than two years on charges of extortion against Michael Bloomberg were dropped last weekend, after a judge ruled key evidence was inadmissible.

Igor Yarimaka, 39, was arrested along with Oleg Zezov, for his alleged part in attempting to extort $200,000 from the founder of the Bloomberg financial service, before he became New York's mayor.

After receiving this threat, Bloomberg contacted the FBI and arranged to meet Zezov and alleged accomplice Igor Yarimika in London, where the pair was arrested in an FBI sting operation in August 2000. The two men were subsequently extradited from the UK to face trial in the US.

In a separate trial earlier last month, Zezov was convicted and breaking into he Bloomberg network and threatening to spill the beans unless Bloomberg paid him "consultancy fees".

Zezov, who faces a sentence of up to 20 years imprisonment, is due to be sentenced on May 23.

However the scheduled trial against Yarimaka, was abandoned after Judge Kimba Wood ruled that Zezev's threatening emails to Bloomberg could not be used against Yarimaka, the NY Post reports.

Judge Wood said that circumstantial evidence against Yarimaka in the case was weak, according to reports.

Although Yarimaka has been cleared of the hacking/extortion against him, he remains in custody pending a deportation hearing due to begin today. ®

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The indictment against Zezov and Yarimika

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