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Jailed Russian Businessman Denounces Kremlin

Mikhail Khodorkovskii 30 September 2005 -- Jailed Russian businessman Mikhail Khodorkovskii has harshly criticized the Kremlin as being incompetent and corrupt in a letter sent through his lawyers.

Khodorkovskii was sentenced this year to nine years following a trial in Moscow. The proceedings were widely regarded as Kremlin punishment for his political ambitions and part of a state drive to recapture influence in the crucial oil sector.

The sentence was reduced last week to eight years in an appeal that Khodorkovskii's lawyers said was rushed through to bar him from running in a parliamentary by-election.

In his letter posted on the Internet, Khodorkovskii said there is nothing more dangerous for Russia than what he called "weak, irresponsible rulers." He said such rulers always provoked upheavals.

The former oil tycoon said President Vladimir Putin's deputy chief of staff, Igor Sechin, was mainly responsible for going after him.