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A Russian court refused bail on Wednesday to a jailed oil executive who is gravely ill with AIDS, the latest ruling in a case that has put Russia in breach of an order from the European Court of Human Rights.

Vasily Alexanian, 36, has said he will die unless he is transferred from his Moscow prison to a specialist hospital, and the Strasbourg-based European court has given three separate instructions to the Russian authorities to move him.

Alexanian is a former vice-president of Yukos, an oil company whose founder, Mikhail Khodorkovsky, was imprisoned in what was widely seen as a Kremlin campaign to punish the businessman for his political ambitions.

A judge at Moscow's Simonovsky district court ordered that Alexanian's trial for fraud and tax evasion be suspended while he receives treatment. It was the first admission by a court that he is gravely ill.

But the court rejected a request for him to be released on bail, saying he was a flight risk and could receive the treatment he needed in the sanatorium at the Sailor's Rest prison in Moscow where he is being held.

'They are not giving me any treatment in there,' Alexanian told reporters from his metal cage in a corner of the courtroom.

'There is no guarantee they will give me access to a specialist clinic. All they are doing is adjourning the trial. That is all. Nothing else.'

Alexanian's lawyers say his condition has left him partially blind, suffering from cancer of the lymph nodes and with suspected tuberculosis.


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