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Mexico's former top drug prosecutor committed suicide Wednesday in the United States, where he faced money-laundering charges, his attorney said in Mexico City.

Mario Ruiz Massieu, 48, who had been under house arrest in New Jersey since 1996 while battling extradition, was charged in a Houston court last month with laundering $9.9 million in suspected drug payoffs while assistant attorney general.

The Mexican government had accused Ruiz Massieu of covering up the 1994 slaying of his brother, a ruling-party leader, while taking huge bribes from drug traffickers.

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