Russian investigators say they are reopening a criminal investigation into the 1998 murder of a Siberian mayor, and that they consider self-exiled Kremlin critic Mikhail Khodorkovsky as a prime suspect.
The Investigative Committee announced on June 30 that it had obtained new evidence enabling it to reopen a probe into the killing of Nefteyugansk Mayor Vladimir Petukhov.
Committee spokesman Vladimir Markin said Khodorkovsky “might have personally ordered this murder and a number of other extremely serious crimes."
Khodorkovsky's spokeswoman Olga Pispanen called the allegations "some form of summer madness."
No one has been convicted in Petukhov’s killing.
Khodorkovsky once owned the defunct oil company Yukos, which was seized by the Russian government.
The former oil tycoon has lived in exile in Switzerland since his 2013 release from prison, where he spent 10 years on charges seen as punishment for challenging President Vladimir Putin's power.
He founded last year the nongovernmental organization Open Russia.