Monday, December 27, 2010

Khodorkovsky Found Guilty

A Russian judge has pronounced Mikhail Khodorkovsky and his business partner Platon Lebedev guilty of embezzlement.

The judge said the two men were also guilty of laundering stolen oil funds.

The former billionaire and Vladimir Putin rival is currently nearing the end of an earlier conviction for tax evasion and fraud. The trial is seen by many in Russia as a behind the scenes move by Putin to insure that Khodorkovsky remains in jail until at least after the 2012 Russian elections.

In an interview with a Russian newspaper, published on Friday, just three days before the verdict was announced, Khodorkovsky said Putin was trapped in the cynical political establishment he had created, indifferent to the fate of its people.

“I suddenly realised I was sorry for this man – no longer young, but vigorous and horribly lonely in the face of a vast and unsympathetic country,” he said.

Check back to this post for an update on the length of sentence the judge hands down to Khodorkovsky and Lebedev.

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