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Khodorkovsky: Putin will answer my questions in court

Source: (Author), 18/03/10
Former head of Yukos, Mikhail Khodorkovsky, has prepared a series of questions for Prime Minister Vladimir Putin and wants him to answer them in court. Khodorkovsky’s questions have been published in the British newspaper The Independent.
“Your prosecutors have alleged that I ran Yukos not as the official director of a company, but as the leader of an organised criminal group. When you were discussing Yukos' problems with me, with whom did you think you were speaking?” asks Khodorkovsky, addressing his question to Putin.
“Your prosecutors have accused me of the theft of oil produced by Yukos from 1998 through 2003. When you personally congratulated Yukos in 2003 on its success in its commercial and social activities, were you speaking of this?” writes Khodorkovsky.
Answering questions put to him by The Independent through his lawyers, Khodorkovsky suggested that Dmitry Medvedev genuinely wants change with regard to corruption, as well as the law-enforcement agencies and the judicial system. But, the former head of Yukos believes, before long the Russian President will reach a point beyond which specific changes will be impossible without modernisation of the political system as a whole. Acording to Khodorkovsky, for the moment it is unclear whether Medvedev will be able to implement modernisation of this kind.
According to, in the interview Khodorkovsky categorically denied rumours that he has been offered release on the condition that he leave the country or refrain from any involvement in politics.
Referring to the current trial, Khodorkovsky wrote that he does not consider its outcome predetermined. “Whatever happens, I will maintain my position and my innocence. I will prove my case so comprehensively that no one will have any room for doubt,” he stated. Answering the question whether he is ready to spend another 20 years behind bars, Khodorkovsky stressed that he has no intention of losing hope.
At the end of 2005, Khodorkovsky and Platon Lebedev, the former head of Menatep Bank, were transported to a penal colony to serve terms of imprisonment to which they had been sentenced at the first trial by Meshchansky district court in Moscow. They were each sentenced to nine years imprisonment, although this sentence was later reduced by Moscow City Court to eight years. However, in 2009 Khodorkovsky and Lebedev were returned to Moscow to take part in a new trial on a second set of charges and have since remained in pre-trial detention.
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21 Mar 2010, 09:14