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Russia: Moscow Court To Reconvene On Jailed Khodorkovskii

Moscow, 23 December 2003 (RFE/RL) -- A court in Moscow reconvenes again today to decide whether oil tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovskii should remain in jail or be freed on bail. Khodorkovskii was surrounded by elite forces as he left the Moscow court yesterday -- the first time he had been seen in public since his arrest in October. The former Yukos oil boss is facing embezzlement and tax evasion charges.

Khodorkovskii and his supporters say the case is politically motivated and claim the Kremlin is behind it.

The Russian Prosecutor-General's Office wants a three-month extension of Khodorkovskii's detention -- due to expire on 30 December. Khodorkovskii faces up to 10 years in prison.