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Court Rejects Lebedev Suit Over 2010 Detainment

Lebedev, right, with Khodorkovsky on trial in 2009. Igor Tabakov
Moscow's Tverskoi Court rejected a lawsuit brought by former Mikhail Khodorkovsky business partner Platon Lebedev, who had requested compensation for his having been illegally held in pre-trial detainment for a three-month period in 2010, Interfax reported.

The former head of Bank Menatep, which had a controlling interest in oil company Yukos, was seeking 180,000 rubles in compensation for his detainment from August 17 to November 17, 2010. The Supreme Court declared his being held in a detention center while on trial with Khodorkovsky on charges of embezzlement and money laundering to be illegal, in line with legislation limiting the cases in which those accused of financial crimes are jailed.

Lebedev would have remained in prison during the trial, since he was still serving a nine-year sentence on theft and tax evasion charges, but the conditions in pre-trail detention are considered harsher.

A Finance Ministry representative, who opposed Lebedev in the suit, insisted that a "certificate of sufferings" be presented to the court, Interfax reported. Lebedev's lawyer Alexei Miroshnichenko answered that the hardships of detainment are manifest.

"Detainment always entails physical and moral suffering. It is an obvious thing that does not need to be documented," Miroshnichenko said.

The court announced only its decision Monday, with the explanation expected to follow at a later date.

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