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MOSCOW, December 11. /TASS/. Former Yukos head Mikhail Khodorkovsky and his lawyers have failed to appear in the Investigative Committee (IC) for questioning on the 1998 murder of Nefteyugansk Mayor Vladimir Petukhov.
On Wednesday Khodorkovsky, who currently resides in Switzerland, said at a press conference that neither he nor his representatives plan to appear in IC for questioning on the criminal case. Thus, investigators may ask the court to sanction the arrest of Khodorkovsky in absentia and put him on an international wanted list.
The IC was expected to officially charge former Yukos head today with the murder of the Nefteyugansk mayor. An informed source told TASS earlier that investigators have already charged Khodorkovsky in absentia.
Khodorkovsky has denied involvement in the murder of Vladimir Petukhov. He noted that he was ready to answer any questions over this criminal case only to the Swiss authorities. "If the country where I live not finds it necessary for me to answer these questions, I will do that," he said.
"If the country where I’m now living deems it necessary to get answers to these questions [formulated by investigators], I’ll answer these questions," Khodorkovsky said at an online conference in the office of the Open Russia opposition movement. Khodorkovsky said earlier on Wednesday he didn't intend to go to Russia to be questioned at the Investigative Committee over the case of the Siberian mayor’s murder. "I can say one thing: I won’t take part in this show," the ex-Yukos chief said.
The former head of oil giant Yukos, Mikhail Khodorkovsky, and his business partner Platon Lebedev were found guilty of embezzlement and tax evasion in May 2005 and sentenced to nine years in prison. While serving their prison term, both Khodorkovsky and Lebedev were found guilty of embezzlement and money laundering in a second criminal case in December 2010 and sentenced to 14 years in prison, with account taken of the jail term they had served. Khodorkovsky was pardoned by Russian President Vladimir Putin and left prison in December 2013. Lebedev was released in early 2014. Media reports said the ex-Yukos head wrote in his pardon request that he pledged not to go into politics.