Former Yukos security chief sentenced to 24 years for contract killings Jaime Jansen at 12:43 PM ET
[JURIST] A Moscow court on Thursday sentenced former Yukos [corporate website; JURIST news archive] security chief Alexei Pichugin [Wikipedia profile] to 24 years in prison for organizing a series of contract killings, including the 1998 murder of Vladimir Petukhov, the mayor of Nefteyugansk. Prosecutors filed the murder charges [JURIST report] against Pichugin and others in April 2005. Puchugin's defense team had argued that the charges were politically motivated and made in an effort to connect Leonid Nevzlin [Forbes profile], a former Yukos executive, to the deaths. Nevzlin lives in exile in Israel, and Russia requested his extradition last year.
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