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Former Yukos executive released for health reasons

Latest update : 2008-12-30

Former Yukos executive Vassily Aleksanian is free after over two years in jail following an international campaign for his liberation. The Harvard-trained lawyer, who is battling AIDS, was released on €1.4 million in bail.

AFP - Vasily Aleksanian, the jailed former executive of the Yukos oil company battling AIDS, was released Tuesday after a long campaign for his freedom, his lawyer told Russian news agencies.

"The bail has been paid, and one hour ago the guard was lifted from Aleksanian's (hospital) ward," lawyer Yelena Lvova was quoted as saying by Interfax and RIA Novosti.

"Aleksanian's father expresses his gratitude to all of those people who made it possible to collect the funds," she added.

Lvova said that Aleksanian's relatives have visited him since the guard was lifted but did not specify when he would actually leave the hospital ward.

Earlier this month a Russian court ordered Aleksanian's release on bail but set the bail at 1.8 million dollars (1.4 million euros), provoking criticism from his supporters who said it was an overly large sum.

Aleksanian's case has evoked sympathy around the world and prompted a human rights campaign after his lawyers said the prison service denied him proper treatment for more than a year.

The Harvard-trained lawyer was arrested in April 2006 and charged with embezzlement, money laundering and tax evasion as part of a broader legal assault on Yukos, once Russia's biggest oil company.

Date created : 2008-12-30