Trial of Former Yukos Official Adjourned

February 06, 2008 10:25 AM
by findingDulcinea Staff
Russian authorities have adjourned the trial of Vasily Aleksanian, former vice president of dismembered oil giant Yukos, because he requires urgent medical attention.

30-Second Summary

Vasily Aleksanian has AIDS and cancer, and authorities had previously denied him the right to leave jail to seek medical help.

The director of the jail where officials are holding Aleksanian on charges of fraud and tax evasion said the prisoner has lymphatic cancer and needs hospitalization.

The authorities' prior refusal of Aleksanian's request for hospital treatment prompted protests and allegations that Yukos, which was once Russia's largest oil producer, "is the victim of a Kremlin revenge campaign," according to the Associated Press.

Yukos has been systematically dismantled and sold off by Russia, allegedly to pay billions in back tax. Its founder, Mikhail Khodorkovsky, is serving an eight-year prison sentence for fraud and tax evasion. Khodorkovsky's supporters say he was framed by the Kremlin. He funded opposition parties and resisted the state takeover of Yukos.

Meanwhile, Khodorkovsky is on a hunger strike in support of Aleksanian.

The trial is set to resume today, and the court will decide whether Aleksanian may receive outside medical treatment. His prosecutors did not object to the suspension of his trial on Feb. 5 so long as he remained in custody.

Headline Links: Aleksanian's trial

Background: Aleksanian's health crisis

Key Players: Yukos and Khodorkovsky

Related Topic: Khodorkovsky's prison sentence


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