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Yukos Auction Whistle-Blower In Solitary Confinement

Russian police pass by the Yukos oil giant's logo during an auction selling off the company's key assets at its Moscow headquarters in May 2007.
TULA, Russia -- A jailed former employee of Russia's state property agency is in solitary confinement after telling RFE/RL the Russian authorities orchestrated the fraudulent sale in 2004 of a stake in the oil giant Yukos, RFE/RL's Russian Service reports.

Maksim Dudarev, an ex-member of the ruling United Russia party, was placed in solitary confinement immediately after giving his interview to RFE/RL on October 11.

Dudarev, 30, is a former aide to United Russia Chairman Boris Gryzlov and an ex-employee of Rosgosimushchestvo, the state property agency. He was found guilty of fraud in 2009 and given a seven-year prison term that he is serving in a labor camp in Tula Oblast.

He alleged in his interview that the 2004 auction was not open and competitive but was used as a vehicle to transfer ownership of a stake in a key Yukos subsidiary to a state company.

Senior Lieutenant Maksim Denisov, a duty officer at the labor camp where Dudarev is serving his sentence, told RFE/RL that on October 11 Dudarev was placed in solitary confinement for "keeping banned items, namely a Samsung mobile phone."

But when RFE/RL contacted Aleksandr Kolosov, the ombudsman at the Directorate of the Federal System for Monitoring Penitentiaries in Tula Oblast, Kolosov was surprised to hear that Dudarev is in solitary confinement.

He said Dudarev has been commended several times for exemplary behavior and has never been reprimanded.

"That is why the labor camp administration decided he deserves to be recommended for early release on parole," Kolosov said.

Yulia Kozlova, an aide to Tula Central District Court judge Irina Krivolapova, told RFE/RL that Dudarev's parole request hearing was postponed until November 8 from October 20 because the labor camp failed to provide all the necessary documents.

Read more in Russian here