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Khodorkovskii's Fraud Trial Resumes

Khodorkovskii could face 10 years in prison (file photo) 13 July 2004 -- The trial of Russian oil magnate Mikhail Khodorkovskii on fraud and tax-evasion charges resumed in Moscow today.

Khodorkovskii is the main shareholder of Russia's biggest oil firm Yukos.

Khodorkovkiii and his co-defendant, Platon Lebedev, face charges on seven offenses, including fraud and tax evasion, and may face 10 years in prison if convicted. Lebedev's plea for bail on grounds of ill health has been rejected by the court.

Since Khodorkovskii's arrest last October, Yukos was hit by overdue tax demands worth about $8 billion. The company says the demand could bankrupt it.

Meanwhile, Russian officials are reportedly examining a proposal in which Yukos would pay the sum over three years to save itself from bankruptcy.


[For complete coverage of the trial of former Yukos CEO Mikhail Khodorkovskii, see our Russia country page.]

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