[QODLink]
Europe
Court upholds Khodorkovsky's fraud conviction
Moscow appeals court upholds conviction of former oil tycoon but reduces his 14-year prison sentence to 13 years.
Last Modified: 24 May 2011 15:23
Khodorkovsky described the Moscow appeals court's verdict as 'gibberish' [AFP]

A Russian appeals court has upheld the second conviction of Mikhail Khodorkovsky, the former oil tycoon, but reduced his 14-year prison sentence to 13 years.

The Moscow City Court ruling means Khodorkovsky, the ex-chief of the Yukos oil company, who has been jailed since 2003, will remain in prison well into 2016.

Khodorkovsky, who fell foul of the Kremlin during Vladimir Putin's presidency, and his business partner Platon Lebedev, were initially convicted of fraud and tax evasion in 2005.

The court "imposes on Khodorkovsky and Lebedev punishment in the form of imprisonment for a term of 13 years," said Olga Arochkina, the judge, after the one-day hearing of their appeals on Tuesday.

During the hearing, Khodorkovsky poured scorn on the judges who had written the verdict, a lengthy summary of the trial that spelled out his guilt.

"From which dusty basement did they dig out the venomous Stalinist spider who wrote that gibberish?" said Khodorkovsky.

Karina Moskalenko, one of Khodorkovsky's lawyers, called the one-year reduction of the sentence "cosmetic".

Supporters outside the courtroom yelled out, calling the decision a "disgrace".

In December, the trial judge who convicted Khodorkovsky sentenced him to serve a total of 14 years in prison, counting from his initial arrest at a Siberian airport in October 2003.

Government critics describe the prosecution as part of a Kremlin campaign to tighten state control over oil revenues and punish Khodorkovsky for perceived challenges to Putin, president from 2000 to 2008 and now prime minister.

Source:
Agencies
Topics in this article
People
City
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
'Justice for All' demonstrations swell across the US over the deaths of African Americans in police encounters.
Six former Guantanamo detainees are now free in Uruguay with some hailing the decision to grant them asylum.
Disproportionately high number of Aboriginal people in prison highlights inequality and marginalisation, critics say.
Nearly half of Canadians have suffered inappropriate advances on the job - and the political arena is no exception.
Featured
Women's rights activists are demanding change after Hanna Lalango, 16, was gang-raped on a bus and left for dead.
Buried in Sweden's northern forest, Sorsele has welcomed many unaccompanied kids who help stabilise a town exodus.
A look at the changing face of North Korea, three years after the death of 'Dear Leader'.
While some fear a Muslim backlash after café killings, solidarity instead appears to be the order of the day.
Victims spared by the deadly disease are reporting blindness and other unexpected post-Ebola health issues.