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Khodorkovskii Calls For New Political Elite In Russia

Khodorkovskii in jail during his trial in Moscow (file photo) (AFP) 2 November 2005 -- Mikhail Khodorkovskii, the jailed founder of Russia's Yukos oil company, is urging his supporters to help install a "new political elite" in Russia.

The call came today in a full-page advertisement in Britain's "Financial Times" newspaper.

Khodorkovskii, who has been jailed in Siberia since mid-October, says the Russian government tried not only to isolate him, but to "physically destroy" him.

He says the fight against what he calls the "supremacy of self-serving Russian bureaucrats" is "just beginning."

He says Russia needs to build its army and its legal system and restore its international prestige. For that, he says, Russia needs a new political elite of "heroes, not mediocricity."

A similar message appeared on Khodorkovskii's website last month.

Khodorkovskii was sent to a prison colony in eastern Siberia last month to serve an eight-year sentence for fraud and tax evasion. His supporters say the trial against him was politically motivated.

("Financial Times"/AFP)