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Mikhail Khodorkovsky will stay in custody for another three months
Mikhail Khodorkovsky, former proprietor of the Yukos petroleum mammoth, will stay in custody for another three months, into February 14, 2005, Moscow's Meschansky district court determined at today's hearings on the prosecution's request. If bailed off, the defendant may escape from court, influence witnesses and hamper substantiation of facts, said Justice Irina Kolesnikova, court president. Judicial inquiry is on now, and the prosecution is offering ever new evidence, she added. Prosecutor Dmitri Shokhin came out with the same reasoning as he requested the defendant's pre-trial detention prolonged. Even in custody, Khodorkovsky was close to success as he was imposing his opinions on one of the witnesses. The latter sought in his statement to underestimate the tycoon's role in the crimes, stressed the prosecutor. Khodorkovsky has spent longer than a year in custody for today. He is accused of tax evasion and swindles-both involving exorbitant sums-and other crimes, on a total seven Criminal Code clauses.
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