Guatemala judge orders house arrest for jailed Russian man

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A court in Guatemala has ordered a Russian man accused of buying and using false documents to obtain residency to be transferred from prison to house arrest.

Judge Ericka Aifan's ruling comes after Igor Bitkov's defense argued he suffers from unspecified health problems. She says Bitkov is not a flight risk and has ordered him to check in with authorities every week to confirm his presence in the country.

Bitkov, his wife and his daughter were detained in 2015 and accused in a case involving a criminal network operating in Guatemala's immigration agency and national registry of persons.

They allege they are the victims of political persecution pushed by Russia, but have not presented evidence of that.

Monday's ruling does not extend to the wife and daughter, Irina and Anastasia.