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A Moscow court Thursday set a date for hearing an appeal by Mikhail Khordorkovsky against his detention in a Siberian penal colony
A Moscow court Thursday set a date for hearing an appeal by jailed oligarch Mikhail Khordorkovsky against his detention in a Siberian penal colony. The defense team for the former boss of embattled oil giant Yukos appealed a decision to send Khodorkovsky and his business partner, Platon Lebedev, to the Siberian region of Chita, about 3,000 miles east of Moscow, where they are currently serving eight-year terms, arguing that prisoners may not be sent to penitentiaries outside their home regions. Lawyer Yury Shmidt again asked about vacant cells in penal colonies in European Russia as of October 1, 2005, information the Federal Penitentiary Service said Wednesday was for internal use only. Shmidt said the information could not be classified, as Justice Minister Yury Chaika had previously circulated it in the press. "The data cannot be regarded as state secret and must be available for the court to be able to find the truth," Shmidt said. Khodorkovsky and Lebedev were transferred to the prison camp near Chita October 15, 2005, after being held in a Moscow detention center for more than a year during court proceedings. In May 2005, they were found guilty of tax evasion and large-scale fraud, accusations seen as politically motivated in the West, and sentenced to nine years in a low-security prison. On September 22, the Moscow City Court reduced their terms to eight years.
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