Mikhail Khodorkovsky is serving his sentence in a Siberian prison (file photo) (ITAR-TASS)
March 17, 2006 (RFE/RL) -- Yukos founder Mikhail Khodorkovsky has been put in a disciplinary cell at a Siberian prison for drinking tea in the wrong place, RFE/RL's Russian Service reported.
Maksim Dbar, spokesman for the Khodorkovsky Foundation, told RFE/RL's Russian service that Khodorkovsky, who is serving an 8-year prison sentence for fraud and tax evasion, will spend seven days in the disciplinary cell.
According to the official explanation, Khodorkovsky was punished for "consuming food outside the specially allocated place."
Dbar said in fact, Khodorkovsky was punished for drinking tea in the wrong place.
"Mikhail Khodorkovsky sees his lawyers after he finishes working for eight hours at the production unit," he said. "Therefore, in order to see his lawyers, he simply has to give up dinner, and it is quite logical to assume that a person who is compelled to stay without food in the evening for quite a long period of time may decide to have some tea."
Khodorkovsky was sentenced last year after a trial that was widely viewed as politically motivated. Yukos, the oil company he founded, was broken up because it was unable to pay off massive back tax claims.