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Siberia's Chita District Court granted a request by defense lawyers
Siberia's Chita District Court granted a request by defense lawyers on Thursday to postpone until October 14 a hearing into extending court custody of ex-Yukos executive, Platon Lebedev.

Russian prosecutors have called for Lebedev, 51, to be kept in a pre-trial detention centre until February 2009. Lebedev is best known as the business partner of jailed Yukos founder Mikhail Khodorkovsky.

The court ruled on Wednesday that Khodorkovsky be kept in a pre-trial detention centre until February 9, 2009.

Both men are serving eight-year jail terms for fraud and tax evasion in Siberia. They have both maintained their innocence, with Khodorkovsky claiming his conviction was political and retaliation for his support of Russia's opposition movement.

The jailing of Lebedev and Khodorkovsky, head of what was once Russia's largest independent oil producer, has been widely criticized in the West and seen as part of the Kremlin's drive to regain lucrative energy assets.


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