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  Wednesday, October 23, 2019
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Mikhail Khodorkovsky said in his final statement at a court trial that he was not guilty
"18 months ago I was detained by armed men and denied to be let out on bail," said Khodorkovsky. He said thereby the law enforcement bodies were deliberately destroying Yukos. "It [the trial] was orchestrated by certain influential people with the aim of seizing the successful company, or rather its receipts," said Khodorkovsky. He described those who "are plundering" Yukos as "self-interested bureaucrats." "The whole country knows why I was put to prison - so that I could not prevent them from plundering Yukos," he said. Khodorkovsky believes his arrest was the reason behind a six-fold increase in capital flight. "Home-grown bureaucracy inflicted damage on the country," he said. "Let those who launched the whole affair bear full responsibility for it," he added. Khodorkovsky claims the Prosecutor General's Office was not able to prove his guilt. "Searches were conducted and hostages were taken through arrests for two years, but prosecutors did not uncover illegal activities or prove the existence of a criminal group," said the ex-Yukos chief. Khodorkovsky said he had nothing to defend himself against. "The law does not require to challenge criminal pulp fiction," he said. Khodorkovsky responded to every charge that was brought up against him. His final statement took about 20 minutes. He thanked his elderly parents and wife for support and patience. People in the courtroom gave a standing ovation to Khodorkovsky.
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