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Moscow court delays Khodorkovsky appeal hearing until May 24

© RIA Novosti . Andrey Stenin / Go to the photo bankMikhail Khodorkovsky and his business partner Platon Lebedev
Mikhail Khodorkovsky and his business partner Platon Lebedev - Sputnik International
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A Moscow court on Tuesday delayed until May 24 the hearing of an appeal lodged by jailed former oil tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky.

A Moscow court on Tuesday delayed until May 24 the hearing of an appeal lodged by jailed former oil tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky.

Moscow City Court Judge Vladimir Usov said the court needed time to study the large volume of complaints about the sentencing of Khodorkovsky and his business partner Platon Lebedev in December.

Khodorkovsky, 47, and Lebedev, 54, were told in December they would have to stay in jail until 2017 after being found guilty of stealing from their former oil firm Yukos and laundering the proceeds.

The two men had been nearing the end of their eight-year sentences for fraud and tax evasion from their 2005 trial.

Russia's Supreme Court last month overturned lower court rulings to keep the two men in pre-trial detention during the final months of their second trial.

In February, Natalia Vasilyeva, a former aide to Judge Viktor Danilkin, who extended the two men's jail terms, said she was acting under orders from the Moscow City Court.

Danilkin denied the allegations, describing them as slander.

Khodorkovsky is widely believed to be the subject of a political vendetta by Prime Minister Vladimir Putin for having funded opposition parties in the early 2000s.

Khodorkovsky and Lebedev have always maintained that the charges against them are trumped up.

MOSCOW, May 17 (RIA Novosti)

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