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Khodorkovsky to remain in prison till after presidential election
MOSCOW - Moscow Basmanny court has ordered former Yukos CEO Mikhail Khodorkovsky to remain in custody till March 25, 2004, just 11 days after the presidential election slated for March 14. The order followed a request from the General Prosecutor’s Office, which had petitioned the court to extend the detention period because Khodorkovsky could run from prosecution or exact pressure on potential witnesses if released on bail. Khodorkovsky was arrested on Oct. 25, when he was promptly indicted on a series of charges, including fraud, violation of a court order, corporate tax evasion, falsification of documents and embezzlement. Other charges include non-payment personal income tax and compulsory contributions to the Pension Fund, totaling $1.7million between 1998 and 1999. In a similar development, Menatep Group CEO Platon Lebedev, a co-principal Yukos shareholder with Khodorkovsky, was denied bail by Moscow City Court. According to the court order, Lebedev is to remain in custody till Dec. 30 for reasons similar to those of Khodorkovsky.
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