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Russia prison to transfer ex-Yukos lawyer to clinic for medical treatment

[JURIST] Former Yukos executive and lawyer Vasily Aleksanian [defense website; statement] will be transferred from jail to a civilian clinic for medical treatment, Russia's Federal Penitentiary Service said Thursday. The announcement apparently reverses a Wednesday Russian court ruling denying Aleksanian temporary medical release [JURIST report]. The European Court of Human Rights [official website] has called on Russia three times to move Aleksanian to a medical clinic, warning that it could find the country in violation of the European Convention on Human Rights [text] should his condition worsen. The former Yukos [corporate website; JURIST news archive] executive was arrested in 2006 on charges of money laundering and embezzlement and was diagnosed with HIV a few months later.

Last month, oil tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky [defense website; JURIST news archive] said that he was going on hunger strike [JURIST report] to protest the denial of medical treatment to Aleksanian. Khodorkovsky was convicted of tax evasion [JURIST report] in 2005 and is currently imprisoned in Siberia. Russian prosecutors indicted Khodorkovsky on new money laundering charges [JURIST report] in early 2007. Khodorkovsky, an opponent of Russian President Vladimir Putin, has always insisted that the charges against him are politically motivated, although Russian prosecutors say otherwise [JURIST report]. AP has more.

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