Ex-Yukos Exec to Stay Under Guard

A Moscow court on Friday ordered former Yukos vice president Vasily Aleksanyan, who is being treated for AIDS-related lymphoma, to remain under armed guard until October while he awaits trial on embezzlement and money-laundering charges, Interfax reported.

Aleksanyan is to remain under guard while being treated at City Hospital No. 60 in eastern Moscow until October 23, a judge at the Simonovsky District Court ruled, the new agency reported.

Detained in April 2006, Aleksanyan has been diagnosed with the final stage of AIDS and AIDS-related lymphoma. He was hospitalized in February.

Aleksanyan is currently undergoing chemotherapy, his lawyer, Gevorg Dangyan, told the court, and any attempt to flee the hospital would be an "act of suicide," RIA-Novosti reported.

Prosecutor Nikolai Vlasov told the court that if released from custody, Aleksanyan could flee, pressure witnesses or destroy evidence, RIA-Novosti said.

Aleksanyan's supporters say he is a political prisoner being punished for refusing to give evidence against his jailed former bosses, Mikhail Khodorkovsky and Platon Lebedev.