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Yukos vice president Aleksanyan's trial to begin Jan 30

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MOSCOW, January 25 (RIA Novosti) - The Simonovsky Court of Moscow will begin hearing the case of a former Yukos executive, Vasily Aleksanyan, on January 30, his lawyer said on Friday.

Investigators accuse the one-time oil company vice president of embezzling over 8 billion rubles ($329 million) from Yukos production unit Tomskneft as well as shares worth over 12 billion rubles ($493 million) from other oil companies, and of laundering the stolen assets.

"My opinion is that they [the investigators] are in a hurry to hold the trial while he is still alive," Yelena Lvova said.

Aleksanyan, who has pleaded not guilty, was earlier diagnosed with AIDS, and is unable to participate in the court hearings due to health problems, she said adding that "this does not bother anyone."

Once Russia's largest oil producer, Yukos collapsed after claims of tax evasion, which led to the company being broken up and sold off to meet debts. The bulk of its assets were subsequently bought by government-controlled oil company Rosneft.

Former Yukos CEO Mikhail Khodorkovsky is serving an eight-year prison term for fraud and tax evasion. He has consistently maintained his innocence calling the accusations politically motivated.

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