Journalist cleared of smuggling foreign cash

The case of a Russian journalist caught bringing too much foreign currency into the country from abroad has set a legal precedent. The Constitutional Court has dropped smuggling charges against Manana Aslamazyan, who works for an NGO dedicated to training

In 2007 Aslamazyan was detained by customs officers while trying to bring almost $US 13,000 worth of foreign notes into Russia without declaring it. The maximum allowed at the time was $US 10,000.

Both criminal and administrative cases were brought against her. But on Tuesday, the charges of smuggling were dropped after an appeal to Russia's Constitutional Court.

The customs department at Moscow's Sheremetyevo airport has now to decide whether Aslamazyan should be fined for breaking currency regulations.

The journalists training foundation headed by Manana Aslamazyan, Educated Media, stopped work when charges were brought against her last year.