Russian Billionaire Khodorkovsky Found Guilty
Mikhail Khodorkovsky, once Russia’s richest man, has been found guilty of embezzling billions of dollars during his reign as CEO of giant oil company Yukos.
The verdict read on Monday was the second against Khodorkovsky following his 2005 conviction on fraud charges. He is nearing the end of his eight-year sentence and the new verdict could result in more years in prison. Prosecutors in the money laundering and theft trial are asking for at least six more years for the former oil tycoon, whose fall from grace is widely believed to have been caused by disagreements with former President and now Prime Minister Vladimir Putin.
Khodorkovsky was arrested in 2003 following his public opposition to the policies of Putin, who was then the president. Khodorkovsky criticized the government’s restrictions on oil exports and also supported opposition politicians. Following Khdorkovsky’s arrest and conviction, his Yukos petroleum company was also brought down on back-tax charges. The company’s assets were later sold with the Kremlin taking control of most of them.