Hearing scheduled for appeal of deceased YUKOS VP seized property release
MOSCOW, July 26 - RAPSI. The Moscow City Court will hear on August 1 the prosecutors' appeal of the Simonovsky District Court's decision to lift the seizure of late YUKOS Vice President Vasily Aleksanyan's property, the press center representing the interests of former YUKOS CEO Mikhail Khodorkovsky and his business partner Platon Lebedev reported on Thursday.
The property was seized as part of an embezzlement case against Alexanyan. The case was later dismissed due to the expiration of the statute of limitations. The measure of restraint was canceled and the deposit was returned.
Attorney Gevorg Dangyan, who represents the interests of Aleksanyan's relatives, stated that the most recent request by the prosecutors consists of the "same arguments" that were presented earlier.
Aleksanyan died on October 3, 2011 at the age of 39. He was arrested in 2006 together with other top YUKOS managers on charges of stealing property from Tomskneft and shares in refineries and oil producing companies owned by the Eastern Oil Company.
Aleksanyan spent nearly 2.5 years in prison. His lawyers asked for his pretrial conditions to be amended due to his poor health, but instead his custodial sentence was extended.
On February 8, 2008, the former top manager was moved from the pretrial detention center to an outside oncology ward. In summer 2010, the court terminated the case proceedings as the statute of limitations had expired. He was never convicted or acquitted.
The YUKOS case has been one of the most high profile in Russia in recent years. In the early 2000s, the authorities accused YUKOS executives, then the country's largest oil company, of economic crimes. YUKOS then went bankrupt and its assets were transferred to Rosneft. Many in the West believe the case was politically driven, though Moscow denies these charges.
In 2005, Khodorkovsky and Lebedev were sentenced to eight years in prison for fraud and tax evasion.
In late 2010, a Moscow district court sentenced them to 14 years in prison for oil theft and money laundering. They were expected to be released in 2017, taking into account the time they had already served for their previous convictions from their first trial in 2005. However, on May 24, the Moscow City Court reduced their sentences by one year. They are now looking to be released in 2016.