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Mikhail Khodorkovsky

Khodorkovsky in 2001
Personal information
Birth date26 June 1963(age 53)
Place of birthMoscow, Soviet Union
NationalityRussian
EthnicityJewish (father), Russian (mother was an Orthodox Christian)
Alma materMendeleev Russian University of Chemistry and Technology
OccupationDeputy Minister of Fuel and Energy of Russia (1993)
Chairman and CEO of Yukos (1997 2004)
SpouseElena Dobrovolskaya (divorced), Inna Khodorkovskaya
Children4

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Mikhail Borisovich Khodorkovsky (Russian: Михаи́л Бори́сович Ходорко́вский, -rumʲɪxɐˈil xədɐˈrkofskʲɪjIPA; born 26 June 1963 in Moscow) is a Russian prisoner, considered by some - such as Amnesty International - to have been imprisoned for political reasons, jailed until 2016 and a former Russian oligarch and businessman. In 2004, Khodorkovsky was the wealthiest man in Russia, and was 16th on Forbes list of billionaires, although much of his wealth evaporated because of the collapse in the value of his holding in the Russian petroleum company Yukos.

On 25 October 2003, Khodorkovsky was arrested at Novosibirsk airport by the Russian prosecutor general's office on charges of fraud. Shortly thereafter, on 31 October, the government under Vladimir Putin froze shares of Yukos because of tax charges. The Russian Government took further actions against Yukos, leading to a collapse in the share price. It purported to sell a major asset of Yukos in December 2004.

On 31 May 2005, Khodorkovsky was found guilty of fraud and sentenced to nine years in prison. The sentence was later reduced to 8 years. In 2003, prior to his arrest, Khodorkovsky funded several Russian parties, including Yabloko, the Communist Party of the Russian Federation, and even, allegedly, the pro-Kremlin United Russia.

In October 2005 he was moved into prison camp number 13 in the city of Krasnokamensk, Zabaykalsky Krai.

In March 2006, Forbes magazine surmised that Khodorkovsky's personal fortune had declined to a fraction of its former level, stating that he "still has somewhere below $500 m."

On 31 March 2009, a new trial of Khodorkovsky and Platon Lebedev began in Moscow for fresh charges on embezzlement and money laundering. On 27 December 2010, a judge found both men guilty of the charges laid against them in 2009. In October, prosecutors asked for a 14 year sentence but indicated that it should include time already served. This would mean that Khodorkovsky and his partner could remain in jail until 2017; however, Khodorkovsky's defense have vowed to appeal the sentence. Suggesting that the legal process was only 'gloss', a US diplomat has described his trial as 'lipstick on a political pig'.

On 30 December 2010, Khodorkovsky and Lebedev were sentenced to 14 years of imprisonment in the second trial. This term includes the sentence from the first trial.

Khodorkovsky appealed his convictions to the European Court of Human Rights. On 31 May 2011 the court ruled that Khodorkovsky failed to prove that his prosecution was politically motivated. The court ruled, however, that Russia committed serious violations of Khodorkovsky's rights during his arrest and pretrial detention.


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