MOSCOW, October 10 (RIA Novosti) - Former Yukos CEO Mikhail Khodorkovsky and his business partner Platon Lebedev have been transferred from a pre-trial detention center in Moscow to serve their eight-year terms in a prison, Lebedev's lawyer said Monday by telephone.
Attorney Konstantin Rivkin said it was not clear when the two were transferred.
Vladimir Semenyuk, Deputy Director of Russia's Federal Penitentiary Service, confirmed the transfer, but did not say to where the two men were taken too.
"This is not ethical," Semenyuk said. "When Khodorkovsky and Lebedev reach their destination, they will be asked which of their relatives should be informed [of their whereabouts]," Semenyuk said.
Khodorkovsky's head lawyer, Genrikh Padva, suggested his client could have been transferred to detention center 3 in Moscow.
"Khodorkovsky could be dispatched to a correctional labor camp, but most likely he was sent to a transit point, detention center No. 3," Padva said.
In May, a court sentenced Khodorkovsky and Lebedev to nine years in jail, but in September the term was reduced to eight years after the conviction on charges of embezzlement and failure to fulfill court orders were overturned.
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Any response would likely boomerang on Russia – the partnership between Rosneft and ExxonMobil is a case in point. The United States has hit Russia with a third round of sanctions. This time the Americans went with a higher caliber weapon, targeting Russia’s biggest energy companies (Rosneft and Novatek) and banks (VEB and Gazprombank).