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Khodorkovskii Trial Resumes

19 August 2004 -- The trial of Russian oil magnate Mikhail Khodorkovskii resumes in a Moscow court today.

The former head of the Russian oil giant Yukos is facing charges of fraud and tax evasion. Khodorkovskii is standing trial along with business partner Platon Lebedev. Both men could face 10 years in jail if found guilty. They have pleaded not guilty.

At the same time, Yukos is fighting to avoid paying $7 billion in back taxes.

The trial began in mid-June, but has proceeded slowly as prosecutors present 400 volumes of documentary evidence.

The case is widely seen as a campaign orchestrated by the Kremlin to punish the oil magnate for his political ambitions.