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Jailed Russian tycoon on hunger strike

Jailed Russian tycoon on hunger strike
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Jailed Russian business tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky has gone on hunger strike.

He is protesting at what he claims is an illegal decision to extend his detention ahead of a new trial.

He says the move violates an order by President Dmitry Medvedev that people accused of economic crimes should not be held in pre-trial custody.

“Since you can’t achieve anything with legal means, the man is forced to take such a step,” said Vadim Klyuvgant, Khodorkovsky’s lawyer.
“And we hope this message, albeit delivered in such an extreme way, will finally be heard.”

Khodorkovsky makes his case in an open letter addressed to the head of the Supreme Court.

Formerly Russia’s richest man, and the boss of oil giant Yukos, he was arrested in 2003 after falling foul of Vladimir Putin’s Kremlin. Currently serving eight years for tax evasion, Khodorkovsky could face a further 22 years behind bars if convicted of theft and money laundering.