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Khodorkovsky Says New Charges A 'Shameful Farce'

Khodorkovsky and Lebedev are being held in this remand prison in Chita (ITAR-TASS) February 7, 2007 (RFE/RL) -- Jailed Russian oil tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky has described new charges against him as a "shameful farce."

In a statement on his website today, the former head of the now-bankrupt Yukos oil company said he had no doubt that "falsified evidence" and "testimony by perjurers" would quickly result in a new guilty verdict for him.

On February 5, prosecutors charged Khodorkovsky with money laundering and embezzlement. The same charges were also filed against Platon Lebedev, the former head of the Yukos financial arm.

Both men are already serving eight-year prison sentences for fraud and tax evasion.

The case against Khodorkovsky, once Russia's richest man, was seen as a politically driven attack on an ambitious businessman who had become critical of President Vladimir Putin.

(with material from Interfax, AFP)

Democracy In Russia

Democracy In Russia

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DO RUSSIANS LIKE THEIR GOVERNMENT? During a briefing at RFE/RL's Washington office on November 15, Richard Rose, director of the Center for the Study of Public Policy at the University of Aberdeen, discussed the results of 14 surveys he has conducted since 1992 on Russian public opinion about democracy and the country's development. He discussed the implications of these opinions for relations with the West and for Russia's 2008 presidential election.


Listen to the complete discussion (about 42 minutes):
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