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Yukos Lawyer Remains In Jail After Court Grants Release

Bakhmina in court on April 19

Bakhmina in court on April 19

MOSCOW -- Svetlana Bakhmina, the lawyer for the former Russian oil giant Yukos, remains in custody despite receiving an early release from her prison sentence, RFE/RL's Russian Service reports.

On April 21, Moscow's Preobrazhensky Court granted Bakhmina an early release from the six-and-a-half-year prison term that she began in December 2004.

Bakhmina was convicted of financial abuses and tax evasion while working as a Yukos legal adviser.

Her friend Olga Kalashnikova told RFE/RL that neither Bakhmina's family nor her friends know when she will be free to return home. Kalashnikova said that Bakhmina can legally be kept in custody for 10 additional days from the time her release was granted.

Russian law says the decision to grant her an early release can be challenged by prosecutors or other interested parties 10 days after the decision was announced.