MOSCOW (Reuters) — The former vice president of oil group Yukos, Vasily Aleksanyan, died on Monday, October 2, of complications from AIDS, according to reports, a condition that Russian rights activists said was worsened by poor treatment during a two-year jail term.
Yukos was split up between 2004 and 2007 after its then-owner, Mikhail Khodorkovsky, got involved in opposition politics and fell out with the Kremlin.
Khodorkovsky was convicted of fraud and tax evasion in 2005. Aleksanyan was found guilty of acting as an accomplice and served two years in prison from 2006 to 2008. The European Court of Human Rights criticized Russia at the time, saying it had failed to give Aleksanyan proper medical treatment in prison.
“He would still be alive if he hadn’t spent a long time in solitary confinement and had received medical treatment in time,” veteran Russian rights activist Lev Ponomaryov told radio station Ekho Moskvy on Tuesday.
“The correctional system, law enforcement agencies are responsible for Aleksanyan’s death,” he said.
Aleksanyan’s death adds another dimension to the prolonged legal process surrounding the break up and auctioning of Yukos assets since Khodorkovsky’s arrest on a Siberian airfield in 2003.