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Court Rejects Former Yukos Vice President's Appeal

Vasily Aleksanyan in the defendant's cage in a Moscow court in February 2008
MOSCOW -- A Moscow court has declined an appeal by former Yukos Vice President Vasily Aleksanyan, who is seriously ill, to postpone a hearing in a lawsuit against him, RFE/RL's Russian Service reports.

The decision was made despite the results of a medical examination that says Aleksanyan is physically incapable of appearing in court.

Aleksanyan, who was jailed in 2006 for some two years without trial on embezzlement and money-laundering charges, has been diagnosed with AIDS and lymphoma.

In 2008, Aleksanyan was released from custody after posting a bail of 50 million rubles ($1.6 million).

The lawsuit hearings were suspended about a year ago, but the next hearing is scheduled for October 5.

Aleksanyan, 36, denies the charges against him and says they are politically motivated.

The European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg ruled in December 2008 that Russia was in violation of four articles of the European Convention on Human Rights and said Moscow officials should release Aleksanyan immediately without any bond.