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Russia Seeks Six Extra Years In Jail For Tycoon


Platon Lebedev (left) and Mikhail Khodorkovsky at the Khamovniki court in Moscow in August

Platon Lebedev (left) and Mikhail Khodorkovsky at the Khamovniki court in Moscow in August

Russian prosecutors have demanded that jailed former oil tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky and his business partner Platon Lebedev should be imprisoned for an additional six years if convicted in their second trial.

Prosecutors asked for a 14-year sentence, but then said they wanted it to include an eight-year sentence that Khodorkovsky and Lebedev are serving and that is due to end in October 2011.

Khodorkovsky, the former head of Yukos oil company, and Lebedev have both pleaded not guilty to embezzlement charges.

The two were first sentenced to eight years in jail in 2005 on fraud and tax-evasion charges that critics say were trumped up to punish the tycoon for daring to finance opposition parties.

At the time of his arrest in 2003, Khodorkovsky, then Russia's richest man, was seen as a political rival to President Vladimir Putin.

The two went on trial again on March 3, 2009, on fresh charges of embezzling millions of tons of oil and money laundering.

compiled from agency reports
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