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Khodorkovsky says charges contradict each other

© RIA Novosti . Andrey Stenin / Go to the photo bankMikhail Khodorkovsky
Mikhail Khodorkovsky - Sputnik International
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Former head of Yukos oil giant Mikhail Khodorkovsky, who is being tried for grand theft, told the court on Wednesday that charges against him were absurd because he could not steal both oil and its profits.

Former head of Yukos oil giant Mikhail Khodorkovsky, who is being tried for grand theft, told the court on Wednesday that charges against him were absurd because he could not steal both oil and the profits from its sale.

Once Russia's richest man, Khodorkovsky is already serving an eight-year sentence for fraud and tax evasion. He is now accused of stealing $9.6 billion from the $15.8 billion profit generated by Yukos between 1999 and 2003 and 350 million tons of oil.

He said $6.7 billion was spent buying the oil company Sibneft and the rest of the money was allocated to different social investments, such as swimming pools, stadiums, community centers and bonuses for the company's staff.

Khodorkovsky said nobody can steal oil and its profit simultaneously.

"For any normal person it is obvious, that the two charges do not work together; they are incompatible," he said.

"If oil is stolen, the party it is stolen from does not receive the income from its sale."

He said the company's inventory reports had not recorded any missing oil during the period in question. However the investigators said these documents were "not relevant to the criminal case".

 

MOSCOW, April 7 (RIA Novosti)

 

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