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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Bakhmina's Case Sent To Moscow

A court in Mordovia on Wednesday sent the parole request of jailed Yukos lawyer Svetlana Bakhmina to a Moscow court for consideration.

The Zubovo-Polyansky District court in Mordovia's capital, Saransk, had been expected to rule Wednesday on whether to release Bakhmina on parole or keep her behind bars to serve out her 6 1/2-year sentence on charges of embezzlement and tax evasion.

But the court ruled to send the case to Moscow's Preobrazhensky District Court for consideration, Saransk court official Yury Mityagin told Interfax.

Bakhmina is one of several senior Yukos officials to be jailed since the company came under fire in 2003. Her bid to be released after serving more than half of her sentence has become a cause celebre among prominent liberals and has even been backed by Kremlin supporters. Several members of the Public Chamber have called for her release, as has former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev.

It will take at least a month for the Moscow court to hear the appeal, Bakhmina's lawyer, Roman Golovkin, said Wednesday.

"There is little positive here because the process will be delayed once again," Golovkin told Interfax.

Bakhmina, 39, was convicted in April 2006. She is the mother of three, and her last child was born this winter.

Bakhmina has already been denied parole twice, in May and September.