Alexa
  • Directory of Taiwan

Lawyer: Ill Former Yukos executive freed on bail

Lawyer: Ill Former Yukos executive freed on bail

An ailing former executive of the dismantled oil giant Yukos who was jailed in 2006 was freed Tuesday after posting a $1.8 million bail, his lawyer said.
Vasily Aleksanian, currently in a Moscow clinic being treated for AIDS and cancer, faces money laundering and embezzlement charges in a host of criminal cases against Yukos and its jailed founder, Mikhail Khodorkovsky.
The trial of Aleksanian, a 36-year-old U.S.-trained lawyer, was suspended earlier this year and he was moved to a clinic in February while lawyers demanded his release on health grounds. He is now partially blind.
"The guards around his bed have been dismissed," Drew Holiner, Aleksanian's lawyer at the European Court of Human Rights, said by telephone. "But he is still in serious condition."
The Strasbourg-based court last week condemned Aleksanian's detention and ordered him released on humanitarian grounds.
Aleksanian and his lawyers will now be able to make sure he is tended to by the best doctors, something they were previously not permitted to do, Holiner said.
Aleksanian had been a vice president at Yukos and was a lawyer for Khodorkovsky, who is serving an eight-year sentence in a Siberian prison on fraud and tax evasion charges.
Once Russia's largest oil producer, Yukos was broken up and sold off in auctions in what was seen as the Kremlin's punishment for Khodorkovsky's political ambitions. Most of the company's assets were purchased at bargain prices by state-owned corporations.
The Moscow City Court set bail for Aleksanian earlier this month but rights groups condemned the amount as unreasonably high. His lawyers posted pleas and bank account details on Web sites to try to raise the sum.
Rights activists were initially doubtful that Aleksanian would be able to raise bail, since the legal onslaught against Yukos left it bankrupt.
Holiner said he did not know who the private donors were or how many contributed.
"That's a private matter," he said.
Holiner said he viewed his client's release, despite the huge bail, as Russian compliance, which "has to be welcomed."
The treatment of another Yukos lawyer, Svetlana Bakhmina, also has attracted wide attention. Bakhmina became pregnant while in custody and her supporters had called on Russian President Dmitry Medvedev to grant her amnesty.
She was recently transferred to a clinic near Moscow and gave birth to a girl last month.


Updated : 2021-05-13 03:01 GMT+08:00