Mikhail Khodorkovsky is former head of the Russian oil company YUKOS, Russia’s richest oil company. He and his associate, Platon Lebedev, were convicted of embezzlement and money-laundering in December 2010. He was arrested on October 25 2003 to appear before investigators as a witness, but within hours of being taken into custody he was charged with fraud. He was sentenced to fourteen years in prison, which includes a previous sentence for tax evasion and fraud he received in 2005. Observers have raised concerns about the timing of the charges, the harassment of lawyers and witnesses and procedural violations including the exclusion of evidence that might have exonerated the defendants, and the denial of the right to examine and cross examine witnesses. His treatment, and that of Platon Lebedev (see below) suggest that his conviction was for political reasons relating to who he is.
Mikhael Khodorskovsky has been RELEASED.