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BREAKING NEWS ~ Khodorkovsky sentenced to 9 years for tax fraud
BREAKING NEWS ~ Khodorkovsky sentenced to 9 years for tax fraud

[JURIST] The BBC is reporting that on the twelfth day of verdict-reading, a Moscow court has sentenced Russian oil tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky [JURIST news archive; defense website in English and Russian], former CEO of Russian oil company Yukos, to nine years in jail after being formally found guilty of charges including fraud and tax evasion at the end of a trial regarded by many international observers as politically-motivated.

6:15 AM ET – Defense lawyers have already said they will appeal. The sentence is one year less than the ten-year incarceration requested by prosecutors. From Moscow, MosNews has local coverage in English. Yukos Oil has issued this statement:

For the vast majority this verdict is a tragic example of the authorities turning a law-enforcement and judicial system against an individual for political ends. We regret that the true value of his achievements have been sullied by those who refuse to appreciate the good he brought Russia.

YUKOS employees view the verdict as a gross travesty of justice produced by judicial system that has not only been content to be manoeuvred to destroy Mikhail Khodorkovsky, but also apparently is intent on bringing down YUKOS.

Read the full text of the Yukos press release.