[JURIST] A Russian court Monday upheld a decision [JURIST report] to move former Yukos CEO Mikhail Khodorkovsky [advocacy website, JURIST news archive] from a Siberian penal colony to a Moscow prison while officials investigate new charges of money laundering [JURIST report]. The ruling also applies to Khodorkovsky's business partner Platon Lebedev [advocacy website], who faces embezzlement and money laundering charges. Defense lawyers welcomed the decision, saying it would make trial proceedings easier as most of the witnesses and evidence were in Moscow.
Khodorkovsky was convicted of tax evasion [JURIST report] in May 2005, and is now serving an eight year prison term. Prosecutors filed additional money laundering charges against him in February 2007 based on allegations that Khodorkovsky used his Open Russia Foundation [SourceWatch backgrounder] to divert oil revenues away from Yukos. If convicted on the new charges, Khodorkovsky could serve up to fifteen more years in prison. Khodorkovsky has insisted that the charges against him are politically motivated [JURIST report]. AP has more.