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    Mikhail Khodorkovsky, once Russia's richest man, speaks during a webcast conference in London, and is seen on a TV screen in Open Russia movement office in Moscow, Russia, on Wednesday, Dec. 9, 2015

    Khodorkovsky Considers Requesting Political Asylum

    © AP Photo / Ivan Sekretarev
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    Mikhail Khodorkovsky, the former head of the defunct Yukos oil company, who is charged in absentia with organizing the 1998 murder by Russia's court, could request political asylum in any country, according to his spokeswoman Kulle Pispanen.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Mikhail Khodorkovsky, the former head of the defunct Yukos oil company, is deciding whether he needs to claim political asylum in any country as the Russian Investigative Committee put him on the international wanted list, his spokeswoman Kulle Pispanen said Friday.

    On December 11, Russia’s court charged Khodorkovsky, who is currently in London, in absentia with organizing the 1998 murder of Vladimir Petukhov, the mayor of the western Siberian town of Nefteyugansk.

    "Nothing is decided and I strongly doubt that this decision will be made in the next few hours or days. He is considering whether he should [seek a political asylum]," Pispanen said.

    The businessman refused to cooperate with the Russian law enforcement agencies, expressing confidence that the initiated trial and arrest would not affect negatively his way of life and the freedom of movement.

    Khodorkovsky was also charged for the attempted murder of Petukhov’s body guard Vyacheslav Kokoshkin as well as attempted murder of the executive director of the East Petroleum Handelsgez company, Vyacheslav Rybin.


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    criminal case, Kulle Pispanen, Mikhail Khodorkovsky, Russia
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