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The Prosecutor General's Office will file new charges against jailed oil tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky and his business partner Platon Lebedev February 5
The Prosecutor General's Office will file new charges against jailed oil tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky and his business partner Platon Lebedev February 5, a defense lawyer said Thursday. "The charges will be brought next Monday in Chita," Yelena Levina said, adding that she did not know what they will consist of. The Prosecutor General's Office now claims that Khodorkovsky, the founder of the bankrupt Yukos oil company, and Lebedev are guilty 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. Last week, Yury Shmidt, another lawyer for the jailed tycoon, 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 since 2005 for fraud and tax evasion, 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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