The decision to arrest the former owner of the now defunct Russian Yukos oil company, Mikhail Khodorkovsky, in absentia was made by state investigative bodies and not by Russian President Vladimir Putin, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Wednesday.
MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Earlier in the day, Russian Investigative Committee spokesman Vladimir Markin said that Khodorkovsky had been placed under arrest in absentia and put on the international wanted list.
"The decision about amnesty on the grounds of convict's request was made by the head of state, but decisions about investigative activities or about putting [someone] on the international or other wanted lists is not made by the head of state. This [decision] is made by investigative bodies," Peskov said.
On June 30, the Russian Investigative Committee said that the former Yukos head was suspected of having hired a hitman to murder the mayor of the Siberian city of Nefteyugansk, Vladimir Petukhov, in 1998. In 2007, former Yukos security head Alexei Pichugin was convicted of planning the mayor's murder.
Khodorkovsky was also charged in absentia with the attempted murder of Petukhov’s companion Vyacheslav Kokoshkin as well as the attempted murder of the executive director of the company East Petroleum Handelsgez, Vyacheslav Rybin.
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