Lawyers fear for ex-Yukos official

A former vice-president of the now-defunct Yukos oil company, Vasily Alexanian, 36, says he is nearly blind, has cancer of the lymph nodes and suspected tuberculosis. He has accused prosecutors of deliberately denying him adequate treatment to blackmail him into giving evidence against Yukos founder Mikhail Khodorkovsky, who is in a Siberian jail and may face trial on a new set of charges this year. Prosecutors deny mistreating him. 36-year-old Vasily Aleksanyan worked at Cleary Gottlieb and at Lex International, where he defended Mikhail Khodorkovsky, the founder of oil giant Yukos. Aleksanyan had worked for Yukos in the past, and on 1st April 2006 he joined Yukos as a Vice President. Five days later he was jailed on charges of money laundering and embezzlement. He is still in prison and no date has yet been fixed for his trial. Aleksanyan's case has been raised three times with the Russian authorities by the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg, and rights group Amnesty International has also voiced concern.

Lawyers fear for ex-Yukos official Sat, Feb 9, 2008