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Putin pledges not to interfere in Khodorkovsky case

© RIA Novosti . Andrey Stenin / Go to the photo bankMikhail Khodorkovsky
Mikhail Khodorkovsky - Sputnik International
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Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said Monday he will not interfere in the case of former Yukos oil major CEO Mikhail Khodorkovsky.

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said Monday he will not interfere in the case of former Yukos oil major CEO Mikhail Khodorkovsky.

"This is a court case, and I won't interfere, but this man has blood on his hands," Polish journalist Adam Michnik quoted Putin as saying at a Valdai International Discussion Club meeting in Sochi.

Michnik, who spoke after Putin's meeting with Valdai club participants, said that in his opinion, the Russian premier showed some "personal emotion," as his tone, previously calm, changed when he spoke about Khodorkovsky.

Khodorkovsky and his business partner Platon Lebedev are serving eight-year sentences for fraud and tax evasion. In May they were additionally charged with stealing $9.6 billion from the $15.8 billion profit generated by Yukos between 1999 and 2003, as well as 350 million tons of oil.

Once Russia's richest man, Khodorkovsky claims the charges against him are politically motivated.

SOCHI, September 6 (RIA Novosti)

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