Moscow, 11 November 2003 (RFE/RL) - A Moscow court today denied bail to oil tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovskii, ordering him to remain in jail pending his trial on fraud and embezzlement charges. The three-judge panel issued the ruling after two hours of closed-door hearings. The major shareholder and former chief executive of the Yukos oil company was arrested in Novosibirsk on 25 October. Khodorkovskii is charged with embezzlement and tax evasion and could face up to 10 years in prison if found guilty.
Khodorkovskii, who resigned last week as Yukos chief executive, says his arrest was politically motivated because he openly supported parties running against President Vladimir Putin's forces in the coming parliamentary elections.