24 Jun 2010 22:08

Aleksanyan ruling must affect Khodorkovsky-Lebedev case

MOSCOW. June 24 (Interfax) - A ruling by a Moscow court on Thursday to quash the prosecution of Vasily Aleksanyan, who was vice president of Yukos, means that charges against Mikhail Khodorkovsky and Platon Lebedev concerning the Eastern Oil Company must be dropped as well, Vadim Klyuvgant, a lawyer for Khodorkovsky, said on Thursday.

Aleksanyan, who is seriously ill, was charged with stealing property belonging to the Eastern Oil Company and the Tomskneft company. The same charges have been brought against Khodorkovsky and Lebedev.

Since the charges against Aleksanyan were quashed by the Simonovsky Court under the statute of limitations, Khodorkovsky and Lebedev must also be cleared as investigators claim they committed the alleged crimes in period Aleksanyan did, the defense for Khodorkovsky and Lebedev argues.

The defense for the two former co-owners of Yukos had been insisting on this ever since their current second trial began, Klyuvgant told Interfax.

"We also proposed that Aleksanyan's case be combined with ours because the charges were practically identical," the lawyer said.

"We are saying how it should be. It remains to be seen how it will be," he said.

The Simonovsky Court quashed the proceedings against Aleksanyan due to the statute of limitations.