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Khodorkovsky back in solitary confinement for violating prison rules

[JURIST] Former Yukos [corporate website] oil tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky [MosNews profile; JURIST news archive] has been placed in solitary confinement [press release] for violating a prison rule for the third time, Khodorkovsky's lawyer Denis Dyatlev said Monday. Khodorkovsky [defense website] was placed in the one-man cell Saturday, after allegedly violating a prison rule prohibiting prisoners from selling, buying, accepting or seizing personal food products, objects or substances after a three day visit with his wife at the remote Siberia prison [JURIST report] where he is being held, but prison authorities have not provided details on Khodorkovsky's alleged offense. In addition to being placed in solitary confinement after his cell-mate attacked him [JURIST report] while Khodorkovsky was sleeping, Khodorkovsky has also been put in solitary confinement twice for breaking prison rules - when he was found holding Justice Ministry documents on prisoner's rights in his cell and for drinking tea in an unauthorized place. A city court ruled in April that placing Khodorkovsky in solitary confinement for holding the prisoner's rights documents was unlawful [JURIST report] because the documents were not confidential. Khodorkovsky's lawyers have consistently alleged that prison officials find "imaginary excuse[s]" for putting Khodorkovsky in solitary confinement in an attempt to blacken his record and prevent his release on parole.

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 [BBC 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. MosNews has more.

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