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An imprisoned former executive of bankrupt oil company Yukos
An imprisoned former executive of bankrupt oil company Yukos will meet New Year with her month-old daughter in a prison hospital, her lawyer said on Wednesday.

Svetlana Bakhmina, 39, former deputy head of the legal department of the now defunct oil company's Moscow unit, has served almost four years of a 6 1/2 year sentence for embezzlement and tax evasion. Bakhmina, who already had two children, gave birth to a baby daughter in late November.

"Svetlana Bakhmina and her daughter will celebrate New Year in the same hospital they have been to until now," Roman Golovkin said, adding that their health condition was satisfactory.

The supreme court in the Volga republic of Mordovia ruled last Wednesday to postpone considering a parole appeal for Bakhmina until January 21.

Bakhmina's parole request was rejected for the second time in September, despite her pregnancy and testimony of her good behavior while in prison.

She was charged with failing to pay 606,000 rubles ($22,600) in taxes in 2001-2002 and of diverting 8 billion rubles' worth ($298.73 million) of property from Yukos subsidiary Tomskneft in the late 1990s.

Bakhmina, who had maintained her innocence since being arrested in 2004, pleaded guilty on October 22 and applied for a pardon. Some media reported that she withdrew her pardon request on October 24.

Legal proceedings launched against Yukos in 2003, seen by many as politically motivated, resulted in the conviction of Bakhmina and other executives and shareholders of what was Russia's largest oil producer, including founder and CEO Mikhail Khodorkovsky.


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