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Khodorkovsky won't go to Russia for questioning — spokesperson

Ex-chief of a Russian oil giant Mikhail Khodorkovsky has been summoned for questioning to Russia’s Investigative Committee as a defendant in a case over murder committed in 1998
Mikhail Khodorkovsky EPA/PHOTOMIG
Mikhail Khodorkovsky

MOSCOW, December 8. /TASS/. Former Yukos head Mikhail Khodorkovsky does not intend to come to questioning in connection with the criminal case over the 1998 murder of Nefteyugansk Mayor Vladimir Petukhov, spokesperson for Khodorkovsky Olga Pispanen told TASS on Tuesday.

"They have not been able to finish pressing the case against Mikhail Borisovich (Khodorkovsky) for 17 years already. All this time they have been looking for proof of Khodorkovsky’s bloody involvement in this case, and they could not find anything. I hope that in the future Mikhail Borisovich will continue living and working, and that he will not participate in the games of the Investigative Committee," Pispanen said adding that the former Yukos head has no lawyer since he left prison.

Khodorkovsky said earlier that he was summoned for questioning to IC as a defendant in a criminal case. An informed source told TASS Khodorkovsky was charged in absentia with involvement in the 1998 murder of Nefteyugansk Mayor Petukhov.

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.

Vladimir Putin in late December 2014 also noted that Khodorkovsky asked to pardon him, at least he sent a corresponding paper, and "it seemed that he did not intend to engage in politics.” 

The president later said Khodorkovsky still had the right to be engaged in politics.

On June 30, Russia’s Investigative Committee (IC) spokesman Vladimir Markin said IC had resumed criminal investigation into the 1998 murder of the mayor of Neftyugansk, Vladimir Petukhov, following newly-discovered evidence the former head of the oil major Yukos, Mikhail Khodorkovsky might have been the one who put a contact on the mayor’s life.

"In view of the newly-discovered evidence a decision has been made to resume the criminal investigation of the 1998 murder of the mayor of Nefteyugansk, Vladimir Petukhov," Markin said. "The Investigative Committee has evidence the man who requested that murder and a number of other exceptionally grave crimes might have been Yukos chief Mikhail Khodorkovsky."

Platon Lebedev's lawyer Konstantin Rivkin told TASS on Tuesday that his client got no subpoena.

"We have recently met, he did not receive any notice papers from IC. I was not informed about anything like this as well," the lawyer said.