Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Former Russian PM blasts trial against tycoon



A former Russian prime minister says that charges of embezzlement against imprisoned tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky are absurd and that the trial is politically motivated.

Mikhail Kasyanov says that it would have been impossible for Khodorkovsky to have embezzled more than $25 billion worth of oil that prosecutors are accusing him of while he headed the Yukos oil company.

Kasyanov testified Monday in a Moscow court in a new trial against the tycoon, who along with a business partner faces charges of embezzling some 350 million tons of oil over a period of six years.

Khodorkovsky, once Russia's richest man, is currently serving eight years in prison for tax evasion -- charges widely seen as punishment for challenging then-President Vladimir Putin.

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