Court adds six years to former Yukos shareholder Nevzlin's lifetime sentence

The Moscow Simonovsky Court has added six years to the lifetime sentence of former top Yukos shareholder Leonid Nevzlin on misappropriation charges in absentia. He was sentenced to life for organizing murders and murder attempts.

On Monday the court found Nevzlin guilty of misappropriation and passed the accumulative sentence of life in a high-security penitentiary (combined the sentences passed in 2008 and now), an Interfax correspondent reports.

The court said Nevzlin committed his crime within a group led by former Yukos CEO Mikhail Khodorkovsky. Other members of the group were Platon Lebedev and Vasily Aleksanyan. The charges against them were dropped upon the end of the period of prescription.

The court decided not to hear the government claim for 3 billion rubles; it said the claim could be heard in civil proceedings.

"There is no doubt we will appeal this sentence," Nevzlin's lawyer Dmitry Kharitonov told Interfax.

The Russian Investigative Committee said in July 2012 that it had completed the inquiry and referred the Nevzlin case to court for a trial in absentia. The defendant is still wanted.

Nevzlin, the biggest shareholder of Yukos, had been a member of the company's board of directors until 2002 and held high-ranking positions at the company and the Menatep bank. He took residence in Israel in June 2003, and was naturalized there in the same year.

Russia put Nevzlin on the international wanted list in January 2004 and charged him in absentia with the misappropriation of assets valued at more than 3 billion rubles and individual tax evasion of 26.7 million rubles in 1999-2000.

The Russian Prosecutor General's Office also accused Nevzlin of masterminding attacks on former Rosprom manager Sergei Kolesov, former head of the public relations department of the Moscow City Hall Olga Kostina and East Petroleum Handelsgas MbH Austrian oil company manager Yevgeny Rybin.

In 2008 the Moscow City Court sentenced Nevzlin in absentia to life in prison for organizing murders and attempted murders. The Russian Supreme Court upheld the ruling as lawful.

It became known on May 29, 2012, that Russia and Israel had agreed on the extradition of Israeli citizens suspected of crimes on the Russian territory. Nevzlin is on the extradition list of the Russian Prosecutor General's Office.

The Moscow City Court sentenced Nevzlin in 2008 in absentia to life in prison for organizing murders and murder attempts. The Russian Supreme Court upheld the decision as lawful.

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