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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Court Refuses to Suspend Trial of Dying Yukos Official

A Moscow court rejected a request Monday to suspend the trial of former Yukos vice president Vasily Aleksanyan, who is dying of AIDS and cancer, despite a warning from doctors that it would further damage his health.

Aleksanyan, 36, is charged with embezzlement and money laundering in the trial, part of the politically tinged onslaught against Yukos, once the country's largest oil company. He was only released from custody on bail of $1.8 million after an outcry from human rights activists in December.

Aleksanyan's lawyer Gevorg Dangyan asked the Simonovsky District Court to suspend the trial, which was supposed to resume Monday, because of his client's incapability to participate in it. The judge dismissed the appeal, citing "the absence of Aleksanyan and incomplete information," Interfax reported.

Dangyan told reporters after the hearing that a European doctor who is treating Aleksanyan had recommended that he be examined and hospitalized in Britain, where he could obtain medication that is unavailable in Russia. "The medicine prescribed to Aleksanyan is not certified in Russia," Dangyan said, Interfax reported.

The judge postponed the start of the trial until Oct. 5.