YUKOS defendant's property seizure reversal upheld
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MOSCOW, February 25 - RAPSI. The Moscow City Court on Monday ruled to uphold the reversal of the property seizure of deceased Yukos defendant and former vice-president, Vasily Aleksanyan, the court told RAPSI.
In two previous hearings Moscow's Simonovsky District Court ruled against the legality of investigators seizing Aleksanyan's house and car. The Moscow City Court returned the ruling for reconsideration.
The original case against Aleksanyan was dismissed in the summer of 2010 due to the expiration of the statute of limitations. The plaintiff's civil suits were left without action. The court ruled that there were no grounds to hold the property further.
Aleksanyan died on October 3, 2011 at the age of 39. He was arrested in 2006 with other Yukos executives on charges of stealing property from Tomskneft and shares in refineries and oil-producing companies owned by the Eastern Oil Company.
Aleksanyan spent 2.5 years in prison. His lawyers asked for his pretrial conditions to be reconsidered due to his poor health, but his custodial sentence was extended instead. On February 8, 2008, the former executive 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 executives Mikhail Khodorkovsky and Platon Lebedev of economic crimes. YUKOS, then the country's largest oil company, went bankrupt and its assets were taken over by Rosneft. Many in the West believe the case was politically driven, although Moscow denies the 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, considering the time that they had already served for their previous convictions from their first trial. However, the Moscow City Court reduced their sentences by one year on May 24.