The many apparent flaws in the legal process, plus the political and economic background to the case, encouraged the view that legal action taken by Russian authorities went beyond norms of justice. Rather, the aim of the state appeared to weaken and intimidate political opponents and regain a strategic resource.
Khodorkovskii had financed opposition parties. He was arrested in October 2003 and has since been held in pretrial detention. He is accused of fraud and failure to pay millions in taxes, and faces up to 10 years' imprisonment if convicted.