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Moscow court gives ex-Yukos manager 12 years in prison

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MOSCOW, December 26 (RIA Novosti) - A Moscow court sentenced on Friday Alexei Kurtsin, a former manager of the now bankrupt Yukos oil company, to 12 years in prison after finding him guilty of abuse of office and embezzling 74 million rubles ($2.6 million).

The court also ordered Kurtsin pay the government a fine of 800,000 rubles ($27,650).

The prosecution earlier requested a sentence of 16 years in prison for Kurtsin, and a fine of 500,000 rubles (about $17,300).

Kurtsin was sentenced to 14 years in prison after he was found guilty in 2005 of money laundering in the Yukos-Moskva case.

Eight other former managers were sentenced to up to 13 years behind bars after an investigation proved that Kurtsin and Yukos-Moskva senior vice president, Mikhail Trushin, who is still at large, were involved in laundering 342 million rubles ($11.9 million) through fictitious charities registered in several large Russian cities.

Investigators claim the bulk of the laundered funds went directly to Kurtsin and Trushin.

Legal proceedings launched against Yukos in 2003, seen by many as politically motivated, resulted in the conviction of many executives and shareholders of what was Russia's largest oil producer, including founder and CEO Mikhail Khodorkovsky.

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