Moscow judge upholds Khodorkovsky, Lebedev guilty verdicts

MOSCOW, March 9 (RIA Novosti) - A judge of the Moscow City Court has rejected appeals filed by Mikhail Khodorkovsky and his business partners Platon Lebedev and Andrei Krainov, an attorney for the former Yukos CEO said Thursday.

"A Moscow City Court judge rejected our appeal to start review proceedings on the guilty verdict," Genrikh Padva said, adding that the defense had filed an appeal addressed to the chairman of the court.

In May 2005, the Moscow Meshchansky Court found Khodorkovsky and Lebedev guilty of tax evasion and grand fraud and sentenced both to nine years in a penal colony, a term that was later reduced to eight years.

Krainov received a five-year conditional sentence.

On January 23, 2006, the same court ruled that funds totaling more than $600 million in Russian bank accounts held by Khodorkovsky and Lebedev should be seized to clear multi-billion dollar back taxes owed by the Yukos oil company. The court also ruled that Khodorkovsky's personal accounts in the amount of $47,210 should be transferred to the federal budget.

Khodorkovsky is serving his sentence in a penal colony in the town of Krasnokamensk in eastern Siberia, while Lebedev is at a colony in the Arctic region of Yamalo-Nenets.

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