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Former Yukos Chief Faces New Charges


http://gdb.rferl.org/E49560B7-ECBA-4326-A6B1-08AB278E6508_w203.jpg --> http://gdb.rferl.org/E49560B7-ECBA-4326-A6B1-08AB278E6508_mw800_mh600.jpg Khodorkovsky's lawyer, Semyon Rosenberg, speaks to journalists outside the Chita remand prison on December 26 (ITAR-TASS) December 27, 2006 -- The Russian Prosecutor-General's Office is investigating new money-laundering allegations against jailed Russian oil tycoons Mikhail Khodorkovsky and Platon Lebedev.


Lawyers say investigators informed both men of the new charges today.


Khodorkovsky, the former head of the Yukos oil firm, and his business associate, Lebedev, are currently serving eight-year sentences on fraud and tax-evasion convictions that many see as politically motivated.


New convictions could extend their prison terms.


(Interfax, ITAR-TASS, dpa, bbcrussian.com)

Russia's Democratic Development

Demonstrators speak with local politicians in Butovo about the destruction of a local forest in July 2006 (RFE/RL)

IS RUSSIAN DEMOCRACY MANAGING? Russian President Vladimir Putin has said Western powers seek to pressure Russia under the pretext of concern over its democratic development. He has said Russia is ready to listen to "well-intentioned criticism," but will not allow anyone to interfere in its internal affairs. The Kremlin has been criticized for stifling political oppostion, increasing central control over the media, and cracking down on the work on nongovernmental organizations.


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