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6 Feb, 2008 05:16

Trial suspended for ailing Yukos ex-VP

A court has agreed to suspend the trial over a former Yukos Vice President while he undergoes medical treatment in detention. Vasily Aleksanyann, who's accused of embezzlement and tax evasion, is said to be suffering from AIDS, cancer and possibly tubercu

Aleksanyan has previously been refused hospital treatment despite pleas by the European Court for Human rights.

The court has received a document from the chief of the detention centre, confirming Vasily Aleksanyan needs special medical care, including chemotherapy.

Elena Lvova, Aleksanyan’s defence lawyer, said they have been fighting for this for a long time and they were really hoping that it would happen.

Aleksanyan was arrested in April 2006.

Aleksanyan's lawyers say he's suffering from AIDS, cancer and tuberculosis. They add the European Court for Human Rights has demanded several times he be moved to a clinic for proper treatment.

Last week Aleksanyan was denied permission to postpone the trial and to be moved to a hospital for lack of medical evidence.

Despite claims to the contrary, Aleksanyan says he he's never refused treatment and is willing to go to hospital.

“I'm not guilty of any crime. I was interrogated 14 times over the past year and a half.  They had nothing against me and they still don't have. This is a sheer act of destruction,” Aleksanyan said.

Meanwhile, former Yukos CEO, Mikhail Khodorkovsky has been on hunger strike since January 29, demanding better care for his former colleague. Khodorkovsky is serving his eight-year sentence in Siberia for fraud and tax evasion.

Russian human right activists are also demanding that the former Yukos Vice President be admitted to hospital.