13:44 GMT +3 hours30 May 2016

Federal Penitentiary Service: Khodorkovsky not on hunger strike

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MOSCOW, August 24 (RIA Novosti) - Mikhail Khodorkovsky, the former head of the embattled oil company Yukos, has not gone on a hunger strike, the director of the Federal Penitentiary Service said.

"The administration of the pre-detention center has no information about Khodorkovsky starting a hunger strike," Yuri Kalinin said.

He added that Khodorkovsky's monthly food supplies were worth $1,000.

"Do you think he would go on a hunger strike if he treats himself with so much care?" Kalinin said. "Somebody was interested in spreading information [about the hunger strike]."

The director said inmates were allowed to go on hunger strikes, if they did not violate the rules of incarceration. If an inmate went on a hunger strike, he/she would be under medical supervision, and if need be, the prison administration might begin forced nutrition.

Khodorkovsky's lawyer, Anton Drel, said his client had gone on a hunger strike in support of Menatep head Platon Lebedev, who was placed in an isolation cell for seven days.

"I went on a hunger strike in solidarity with my friend Platon Lebedev. He knows he is not alone," Drel quoted Khodorkovsky as saying.

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