Aleksanyan to Move to Specialized Clinic

Terminally ill former Yukos executive Vasily Aleksanyan will be transferred from a detention center infirmary to a specialized civilian clinic for medical treatment, the Federal Prison Service announced Thursday.

Aleksanyan, 36, who is suffering from AIDS-related lymphoma, will be moved "in the near future," Federal Prison Service deputy spokesman Valery Zaitsev said Thursday.

"Now everything depends on the Moscow Health Department," Zaitsev said. "As soon as it is possible to determine where and how Aleksanyan will be treated, he will be transferred."

The announcement came a day after the Simonovsky District Court granted a health-related adjournment in Aleksanyan's trial for embezzlement and tax evasion, but did not order his release from detention. The court said the question of a transfer was one for doctors at the detention facility.

Both the Federal Prison Service and the Federal AIDS Center said earlier that treating Aleksanyan in the detention facility would be "difficult" because of the nature of lymphoma, a form of cancer of the blood.

Repeated calls to the Moscow Health Department went unanswered Thursday.

Aleksanyan's lawyer, Yelena Lvova, said her client had not been given any information as to where and when he would be transferred. She said Aleksanyan is currently only receiving medication for the tuberculosis from which he also suffers.

"I wonder how long it will take now to implement the decision. Every day we lose makes the situation worse," she said, adding that 8 days had already passed since the first appeal to adjourn the trial for health reasons had been filed.

"We began appealing for him to receive care in a specialized clinic 4 months ago," Lvova said. "My guess is that they have had time to consider where this could be done."

Aleksanyan's case has drawn the attention of a number of human rights activists and politicians. High-profile human rights lawyer Genry Reznik has described Lvova's work on her client's behalf as "courageous," while Ella Pamfilova, head of President Vladimir Putin's Human Rights Council, said, "Aleksanyan's problem should be resolved with mercy and humanity," Interfax reported.

Aleksanyan has claimed that he is being denied treatment for AIDS while in detention because he has refused to testify against his former Yukos bosses, Mikhail Khodorkovsky and Platon Lebedev, who face new fraud and tax-evasion charges on top of the eight-year prison sentences they are already serving.

Khodorkovsky's lawyer, Vadim Klugvant, said his client would end a hunger-strike begun on Jan. 29 as soon as he received confirmation that Aleksanyan had been moved to a civilian facility.