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Nevzlin Sentenced to 6 Years Imprisonment for Grand Scale Embezzlement

Former Yukos shareholder Leonid Nevzlin has been found guilty in absentia of stealing shares from Eastern Oil Company as part of the organized criminal group "headed by Mikhail Khodorkovsky" and sentenced to 6 years imprisonment.

Moscow's Simonovsky Court found Nevzlin guilty of committing the crime as part of a group, which also included Platon Lebedev, Vasily Aleksanyan and other players in the Yukos case, Kommersant reported Monday.

The prosecution had asked for seven years imprisonment for Nevzlin, who left Russia in 2003 and has reportedly been living in Israel, the report said.

In July of last year the Investigative Committee said Nevzlin in 1998 embezzled 38 percent of shares in Tomskneft, the Achinsky oil refinery and other assets belonging to Eastern Oil Company worth more than 3 billion rubles ($91.6 million).

Earlier, Yukos' main shareholders Khodorkovsky and Lebedev were convicted under the same charge and sentenced to 13 years in prison.

Investigators also accused Nevzlin of ordering three murders allegedly committed by members of the organized criminal group between 1998 and 2002, including the killing of a local mayor where the oil firm's biggest production unity was based.

In 2008 Moscow City Court sentenced Nevzlin in absentia to life imprisonment on charges of organizing a murder and attempted murder.

The sentence was later upheld by the Supreme Court.

He denied the charges, saying in a statement he was the victim of "a show trial managed under the supervision of the Kremlin," and appealed to the European Court of Human Rights. 

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