Page last updated at 11:09 GMT, Wednesday, 23 December 2009

Khodorkovsky associate Lebedev was arrested illegally

Platon Lebedev
Mr Lebedev is on trial again on new charges

Russia's Supreme Court has ruled that the arrest of Mikhail Khodorkovsky's business partner, Platon Lebedev, in 2003 was illegal.

The court found that Mr Lebedev's human rights had been violated during his pre-trial detention.

Mr Khodorkovsky, once Russia's richest man and head of oil giant Yukos, and his business partner were jailed for eight years in 2005 for tax evasion.

Both men are on trial again on fresh but related charges.

During the politically-charged court case in 2005, Mr Khodorkovsky was accused of manipulating the privatisation process in the early 1990s, carving himself a profitable chunk of Russia's natural resources.

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