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Jailed tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky has refused to cooperate in a new embezzlement investigation until he hears "clear and concrete charges"
Jailed tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky has refused to cooperate in a new embezzlement investigation until he hears "clear and concrete charges," one of his lawyers said Thursday. The Prosecutor General's Office now accuses Khodorkovsky, the founder of the bankrupt Yukos oil company, and his former business partner Platon Lebedev, of embezzling receipts from Yukos subsidiaries Fargoil and Ratibor, and of laundering the money through the Open Russia Foundation, a charitable organization established by Khodorkovsky in 2001 as a private endowment to assist academic institutions and non-governmental organizations in Russia. Yury Shmidt said he sent a request for clarification Thursday to the chief investigator in the case, Salavat Karimov, in which he argued that it was impossible to establish a connection between the current case and the results of the two- or three-year-old legal expertise being used. The lawyer said Khodorkovsky refused to cooperate with the investigation until he was presented with "concrete charges" and was transferred to a pre-trial detention facility in Moscow. Khodorkovsky and Lebedev, both serving eight-year sentences in Siberia for fraud and tax evasion since 2005, were taken to a pre-trial detention facility in the regional center of Chita in Eastern Siberia in December 2006. The former tycoon, who acquired his company during controversial privatization deals in the early 1990s, has insisted his case was orchestrated by the authorities to silence his criticism of President Vladimir Putin and as part of a campaign to bring mineral assets under Kremlin control.
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