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A jailed former executive of dismantled oil giant Yukos who suffers from AIDS and tuberculosis and has almost completely lost his eyesight was ordered freed on bail Monday, a court official said.

The Moscow City Court set bail for Vasily Aleksanian, who faces embezzlement and money-laundering charges, at 50 million rubles ($1.8 million), spokeswoman Anna Usachyova said.

Aleksanian, a 36-year-old U.S.-trained lawyer who's been jailed since 2006, was moved to a clinic in February, while lawyers demanded that he be released from custody given his state of health.

His trial was suspended earlier this year due to major health problems.

The court's ruling represented a rare victory for defendants in cases against Yukos and its jailed founder, Mikhail Khodorkovsky.

Aleksanian had been a vice president at Yukos and served as a lawyer for Khodorkovsky, who is serving an eight-year sentence in a Siberian prison on fraud and tax evasion charges.

Once Russia's largest oil producer, Yukos was broken up and sold off in auctions in what was seen as the Kremlin's punishment for Khodorkovsky's political ambitions. Most of its assets were purchased at bargain prices by state-owned corporations.

Aleksanian's lawyers and supporters protested what they described as inhumane treatment and unsanitary conditions in the prison and the hospital.

The treatment of another Yukos lawyer, Svetlana Bakhmina, has also attracted wide attention. Bakhmina became pregnant while in custody and her supporters had called on President Dmitry Medvedev to grant her amnesty.

She was recently transferred to a clinic near Moscow and gave birth to a girl last month.


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