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Police Detain Khodorkosvky Supporters As Trial Opens

Mikhail Khodorkovsky sits inside the bulletproof defendents' cage of a Moscow court on March 3.
MOSCOW -- Police in the Russian capital, Moscow, detained at least six supporters of Mikhail Khodorkovsky in front of Moscow's Khamovnichesky court, as preliminary hearings opened for Khodorkovsky's new trial.

RFE/RL's Russian Service reports that an activist of the Solidarnost (Solidarity) movement, Mikhail Kriger, and five members of the My (We) youth movement were among those detained.

Khodorkovsky, the former Yukos oil tycoon, is halfway through serving an eight-year jail term for tax evasion and fraud.

He is now on trial on additional charges of embezzling and laundering billions of dollars.

He and his supporters say all the charges are politically motivated.