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Period of pre-trial investigation for Khodorkovsky’s case extended until July 30

Former YUKOS Chief Mikhail Khodorkovsky is being accused of organizing a number of murders and attempted homicides
Mikhail Khodorkovsky Zurab Javakhadze/ITAR-TASS
Mikhail Khodorkovsky
© Zurab Javakhadze/ITAR-TASS

MOSCOW, January 26 /TASS/. The period of pre-trial investigation on the case of ex-YUKOS Chief Mikhail Khodorkovsky, who is being accused of organizing a number of murders and attempted homicides, has been extended until July 30, a source close to the investigation told TASS.

"At present, the period of pre-trial investigation has been extended until July 30," the source said.

Criminal proceedings against separate YUKOS senior officials who stood behind particularly grave crimes such as the murder of Nefteyugansk Mayor Vladimir Petukhov and attempted homicide of Yevgeny Rybin, the East Petroleum Handelsges manager, were initiated in 1998.

On June 30 last year, the Russian Investigation Committee said it was resuming the investigation into Petukhov’s murder in connection with newly appeared information that Khodorkovsky could have contracted Petukhov’s murder and ordered a number of other grave crimes. On December 11, 2015, Khodorkovsky, who had not turned up for questioning, was charged with the organization of two murders. On December 23, Moscow’s Basmannyi Court arrested the ex-YUKOS chief also in absentia at the investigator’s request.

Russian Investigation Committee Spokesperson Vladimir Markin said that Khodorkovsky had been put on the international wanted list and that the investigators would do everything to bring him to justice.

It is a third case against Mikhail Khodorkovsky, in which he appears as a defendant. In May 2005, Moscow’s Meshchansky Court sentenced him and MENATEP Bank ex-chief Platon Lebedev to 9 years in prison for fraud and tax evasion. Later, the Moscow City Court reduced their prison terms to 8 years.

In a second case, Moscow’s Khamovnichesky Court found Khodorkovsky and Platonov guilty of charges of embezzlement and money laundering and sentenced them to 14 years in prison. The Moscow City Court presidium later softened the sentence to 11 years.

Russian President Vladimir Putin pardoned Khodorkovsky in December 2013. He was released from prison on December 20, 2013. In January 2014, the Russian Supreme Court reduced Platon Lebedev’s sentence to ten and a half years, before he had served his time. He was also released.