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Khodorkovsky hearing adjourned, guilty verdicts expected

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Khodorkovsky hearing adjourned, guilty verdicts expected


Judges in the trial of Russian oil magnate Mikhail Khodorkovsky adjourned the hearing until tomorrow. They had been summing up evidence for the second day. It could be a while before they pass a final verdict but Khodorkovsky’s lawyer says the court has established guilt on all seven charges including fraud, embezzlement, tax evasion and theft.

Khodorkovsky and business associate Platon Lebedev, also on trial, appeared calm this morning behind their cage in the central Moscow courtroom.

Police have stepped up security outside the courthouse in central Moscow where hundreds of Khodorkovsky supporters had rallied yesterday. Khodorkovsky says he is innocent of the charges, some of which originate from alleged deals during the era of post-Soviet privatisation in the mid-1990s.

President Vladimir Putin’s chief of staff has suggested Khodorkovsky is being used as an example to warn other “oligarchs” not to try to move into politics.

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