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Russian prosecutors filing new charges against Khodorkovsky

[JURIST] The Russian Prosecutor General's Office [official website, in Russian] said Monday that additional charges will be filed [press release, in Russian] against Russian oil magnate Mikhail Khodorkovsky [defense website; JURIST news archive]. The charges include allegations of embezzlement and theft, contending that Khodorkovsky and a group of investors embezzled more than $100 million from his former company Yukos [JURIST news archive]. Additional charges will also be filed against Khodorkovsky's former partner Platon Lebedev [defense website]. Khodorkovsky's supporters believe that the charges are politically motivated for his opposition of former Russian president Vladimir Putin [JURIST news archive].

Khodorkovsky was sentenced to eight years in prison in 2005 for fraud and tax evasion [JURIST report], charges which he still denies. Khodorkovsky applied for early release last July, but his application was rejected [JURIST reports] by a Russian judge in August because he disobeyed guards at the Krasnokamensk penal colony [Guardian backgrounder], refused to participate in a training program, and faced the possibility of additional charges. Khodorkovsky appealed [JURIST report] that decision in September.

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