23:15 GMT +3 hours24 November 2014
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Moscow court rejects Khodorkovsky, Lebedev appeals

Russia
(updated 18:25 28.10.2014)
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The Moscow City Court ruled on Monday against the appeals of jailed Yukos founder Mikhail Khodorkovsky and Platon Lebedev in the second case against the business partners, a lawyer said.

MOSCOW, June 1 (RIA Novosti) - The Moscow City Court ruled on Monday against the appeals of jailed Yukos founder Mikhail Khodorkovsky and Platon Lebedev in the second case against the business partners, a lawyer said.

The two men, who are both currently serving eight-year sentences for fraud and tax evasion, were transferred from a Siberian prison to a Moscow detention center in February to stand trial on fresh embezzlement, oil theft and money laundering charges.

Their sentences could be extended by another 20 years if they are found guilty.

"The court dismissed all our appeals against the results of the preliminary hearing, except for the appeal against keeping Khodorkovsky and Lebedev in custody," Lebedev's lawyer Yelena Liptser said.

Liptser said the lawyers are considering another appeal to the European Court of Human Rights against the court's ruling. Three appeals have been filed with the Strasbourg court against the trial in the first case and investigation into the second case.

Lawyers acting for the businessmen, who have maintained their innocence throughout, have called their clients political prisoners, and say the new charges are "disgraceful" and unsubstantiated.