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Former Yukos Employee Given 14-Year Sentence

Prosecutors accused Kurtsin and eight co-defendents of laundering $340 million of Yukos assets (AFP) 1 December 2005 -- A court in Moscow today sentenced a former Yukos employee and his eight co-defendants to between two and 14 years in jail on embezzlement and money-laundering charges.

The heaviest sentence was handed down to former Yukos acting property manager Aleksei Kurtsin, who was also fined 1 million rubles ($34,700).

The Lefortovo court ruled that Kurtsin would serve his sentence in a high-security prison camp.

Prosecutors accuse the group of using fraudulent charities to launder some $340 million of the oil giant's assets.

Former Yukos CEO Mikhail Khodorkovskii is currently serving an eight-year sentence in a penal colony near Russia's Mongolian border.

Khodorkovskii, who was convicted on charges of fraud and tax evasion, says the case brought against him was politically motivated.