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Sakharov off hunger strike; wife is charged with slander

Dissident Andrei Sakharov has ended his hunger strike but remains hospitalized in Gorky, while his wife, Yelena Bonner, has been formally charged with anti-Soviet slander, friends of the couple said Monday. Dr. Sakharov had quit the fast hoping to win permission for her to go to the West for medical treatment.

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Mrs. Bonner was placed under criminal investigation May 2, when Sakharov began the hunger strike. She was accused of plotting with US diplomats to take refuge in the American Embassy in Moscow. The embassy denied the charges, but a spokesman later said Mrs. Bonner had written a letter asking for asylum and had given it to American diplomats during the last visit she made to Moscow in April.