Moscow court rejects businessman's appeal

March 10, 2006 at 3:47 AM
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MOSCOW, March 10 (UPI) -- A Moscow court panel has rejected an appeal brought by convicted Russian businessman Mikhail Khodorkovsky and his business partners against their sentences.

Lawyers for the former Yukos Oil Co. head appealed to Moscow City Court against the sentence of Khodorkovsky and his business partners Platon Lebedev and Andrei Krainov, the RIA Novosti news agency reported.

After the court panel rejected the appeal Thursday, Khodorkovsky lawyer Genrikh Padva filed a complaint with Moscow City Court Chairwoman Olga Yegorova about the refusal to open a review of proceedings, Interfax reported.

Khodorkovsky and Lebedev were found guilty of tax evasion and grand fraud in May 2005 and were sentenced to nine years in a penal colony. The term later was reduced to eight years. Krainov received a five-year conditional sentence.

In January 2006, Moscow Meshchansky Court ruled that funds belonging to Khodorkovsky and Lebedev, including more than $600 million in Russian bank accounts, should be transferred to the federal budget to pay for back taxes owed by Yukos Oil Co.

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