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Yukos Exec's Property Released

Vasiliy Aleksanyan Denis Grishkin

A Moscow court on Monday finally ordered the release of seized property that belonged to former Yukos vice president Vasily Alexanyan, who died last October long after charges against him had been dropped, Interfax reported.

Alexanyan's family will now be able to use his car and house in suburban Moscow nearly two years since a criminal case against him was called off.

The property seizure had been lifted by the Simonovsky District Court in December, but the ruling was appealed by the prosecutors and overturned by a higher court in February.

The Harvard-educated Alexanyan died of AIDS-related illnesses in October at the age of 39. In 2006, he was charged and convicted of tax evasion and embezzlement as part of the crackdown on Yukos, which was once Russia's biggest oil company.

Alexanyan suffered persistent health problems while spending more than 30 months in prison. He and his lawyers accused authorities of using his illness as a bargaining chip — threatening to withhold treatment unless he agreed to testify against the company's former owner, Mikhail Khodorkovsky, and his jailed business partner Platon Lebedev.

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