Ten years in prison
Friday, 25 October 2013 16:21

TEN years ago, on October 25th, 2003, on a tarmac in the Siberian city of Novosibirsk, Russian special forces surrounded the plane of Mikhail Khodorkovsky (pictured) and arrested him. Mr Khodorkovsky, the head of Yukos, an oil company, was charged with fraud and tax evasion. He was sent to prison, where he remains today. (A second trial followed in 2010, extending his sentence to 2014.)  

Like nearly all of the Russian oligarchs who emerged from the 1990s, Mr Khodorkovsky assembled his fortune in all manner of unsavoury ways. But in the years before his arrest, he made a calculation to go clean, inviting foreign auditors to check the finances of Yukos and negotiating with international energy majors about a possible merger.  

At the same time, Mr Khodorkovsky funded civil-society groups and political parties in the Duma; he seemed to harbour the ambition of perhaps turning Russia into a parliamentary system. What was clear was that he was pursuing his own course in what the Kremlin saw as the protected realms of domestic and foreign policy at a moment when consolidation and centralisation defined the official...Continue reading

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source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/economist/QxiO/~3/vQ8SYFJN8Ww/russian-politics


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