Thursday, October 12, 2006

Svetlana Bakhmina: New Appeal

On October 2, A Moscow district court refused to suspend the six-and-a-half year prison sentence imposed on former Yukos lawyer Svetlana Bakhmina, who has two young children. Bakhmina's lawyers had asked for the sentenced to be deferred until her youngest child (now 5) reaches the age of 14.

Now Svetlana Bakhmina's lawyers have again appealed, reports, citing legal irregularities in the case documents.

Svetlana Bakhmina herself denies all wrongdoing. The tax fraud charges against her are widely seen as politically motivated, like those against former Yukos executive Mikhail Khodorkovsky, who dared to challenge the Kremlin's authority.

On October 2, she said:

"I am innocent, but a question of even greater importance to me is when I will be able to see my children again," Bakhmina said. "I think the time I have spent at a detention center has already covered what can be qualified as guilt."

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