[JURIST] A Russian court on Friday rejected an application for parole made by former Russian oil executive Mikhail Khodorkovsky [defense website; JURIST news archive], who applied for early release [JURIST report] from Krasnokamensk penal colony [Guardian Khodorkovsky backgrounder] in July. Khodorkovsky headed the now-bankrupt OAO Yukos Oil Co. [Time backgrounder] and was sent to prison by the Russian government in 2005 to serve an eight-year sentence for fraud and tax evasion [JURIST report]. A court judge said the application was rejected because Khodorkovsky had disobeyed guards' orders, refused to participate in a training program, and is facing 20 more years in prison if convicted on new charges [press release; Bloomberg report] of theft and money laundering. AFP has more. RIA Novosti has local coverage.
Prosecutors had first indicted Khodorkovsky on the additional money laundering charges in February 2007, after announcing plans to do so [JURIST reports] in January of that year. A Russian court had originally ordered that he be transferred to a Moscow prison while the charges were investigated, but that order was later vacated despite a lawsuit by his lawyers [JURIST reports] seeking the move. Khodorkovsky, an opponent of Russian President Vladimir Putin, has always maintained his innocence and insisted that the charges against him are politically motivated, but Russian prosecutors have denied the accusations [JURIST report].