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Khodorkovskii Trial Continues

Mikhail Khodorkovskii 12 July 2004 -- The tax evasion and fraud trial of Russian oil magnate Mikhail Khodorkovskii resumed in Moscow today. He is the main shareholder of troubled oil giant Yukos.

The oil magnate, believed to be Russia's richest citizen, was arrested in October 2003 in a case many analysts see as a Kremlin scheme to punish him for his political ambitions. He is being tried jointly with fellow Yukos shareholder Platon Lebedev.

The case resumes after Yukos missed a deadline on 7 July to pay back taxes worth $3.4 billion dollars. Yukos owes nearly $7 billion dollars in back taxes for 2000 and 2001.

Russian officials have seized documents from Yukos's Moscow offices and frozen its bank accounts.

The company's future could depend on Khodorkovskii and other shareholders striking a deal with the government.