Russia denies ex-Yukos chief bail

A Moscow court has ordered former oil baron Mikhail Khodorkovsky to remain in jail pending his trial on fraud and embezzlement charges.

    Oil tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky will remain in prison

    The presiding judge began a closed-doors meeting on Tuesday to decide whether to release the Russian tycoon. He will remain behind bars until 30 December.

    Khodorkovsky gave testimony by a special video link from his Moscow prison cell, where he has been held since his 25 October arrest.
    Journalists were not allowed to attend the hearing after the judge ruled that some of the testimony might be of a sensitive nature.

    Russia's richest man has been held in custody since being charged on seven counts ranging from embezzlement and tax evasion to forging documents - charges that could land him in jail for up to 10 years.

    His lawyers argue that the arrest was politically motivated since Khodorkovsky, founder of Russian oil giant Yukos, openly supported parties running against President Vladimir Putin's forces in parliamentary elections due on 7 December.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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