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A regional court will consider the parole application of jailed Yukos
A regional court will consider the parole application of jailed Yukos founder Mikhail Khodorkovsky, currently serving an eight-year term for fraud and tax evasion, on August 21, a judge said Monday.

"The court will consider the application by Mikhail Khodorkovsky for parole on August 21 at 10.30 a.m.," Judge Igor Falileyev said.

Lawyers for Khodorkovsky, who headed what was once the country's largest oil company, filed an appeal on July 16 requesting the former oligarch's early release.

In early July, Russian prosecutors filed new charges of money laundering and oil theft against Khodorkovsky and his business partner Platon Lebedev, who is also serving an eight-year jail term for fraud and tax evasion.

Lebedev, 41, and Khodorkovsky, 45, were transferred from a prison to a pre-trial detention center in December 2006, pending further investigation of allegations that between 1998 and 2004 they were involved in the theft of 350 million metric tons of oil and the laundering of $28.3 billion.

Pre-trial custody for both men, which was due to end August 2, has been extended until November 2.

Both Khodorkovsky and Lebedev have maintained their innocence, with Khodorkovsky claiming his conviction was political, in retaliation for his support of Russia's opposition movement.


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