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Khodorkovsky injured in prison assault

[JURIST] Former Yukos [corporate website] CEO Mikhail Khodorkovsky [MosNews profile; JURIST news archive] has been hospitalized in Russia after being stabbed in the face by another prisoner while he slept, Khodorkovsky's lawyer Yury Schmidt said Saturday. The injury to Khodorkovsky's left nostril required stitches, but the Federal Prison Service dismissed the injury claims as a result of an argument with another inmate. A second lawyer for Khodorkovsky [defense website], Natalya Terekhova, said on Gazeta.ru that Khodorkovsky's assailant was a young cellmate called Kuchma, who now waits in solitary confinement, but that Khodorkovsky did not submit a complaint against Kuchma because Kuchma was not aware of his actions. Khodorkovsky has complained that the Siberian prison denies him access to his lawyers, and successfully appealed to a Russian court for more access to his lawyers [JURIST report].

Khodorkovsky was convicted in May 2005 of tax evasion [JURIST report], and the government nationalized Khodorkovsky's oil empire to pay off $33 billion in back taxes. The remaining Yukos assets will likely be sold this year. Bankruptcy proceedings [JURIST report] began in late March for Yukos, while Yukos vice president Vasily Aleksanyan was charged [JURIST report] with embezzlement and money laundering in early April. AP has more. MosNews has local coverage.

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