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Putin Claims No Knowledge Of Khodorkovskii's Solitary Confinement

Russian businessman Vladimir Khodorkovskii (right) being led away to prison in September 2005 (file photo) (epa) 7 February 2006 -- Russian President Vladimir Putin said in an interview released today that he did not know jailed oil tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovskii had been put in a solitary punishment cell.

In an interview with Spanish journalists published on the Kremlin Web site, Putin said he will talk to Justice Minister Yuri Chaika about Khodorkovskyii's move to solitary confinement.

Khodorkovskii clashed publicly with Putin before his arrest about high-level corruption, oil pipelines and the distribution of oil wealth.

Khodorkovskii's press service said he was put in a punishment cell for five days last month at the Siberian prison where he is serving an eight-year sentence for fraud and tax evasion.


RFE/RL Russia Report

RFE/RL Russia Report

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