by UNCENSORED NEWS
| December 30, 2010 at 08:45 am
Russian Oil Entrepeneur Mikhail Khordorkovsky was sentenced by Judge Viktor Danilkin to eight years in prison 7 years ago for fraud, but now the same judge said this expanded prison time of six years will be extended from his 2003 arrest and run concurrently with his first term of 8 years. He will serve a total of 14 years for his convictions upheld in the Russian courts for those crimes he and his business partner Platon Lebedev
were charged with. They stole almost $30 billion dollars worth of oil through their Yukos company from 1998 to 2003 and laundering the proceeds. Lebedev also was sentenced to 14 years in a Moscow prison. This morning Khordorkovsky told the press, "You cannot count on the courts to protect you from government officials in Russia," in a statement read outside the courthouse by his lead attorney. Khordorkovsky has had a conflict with Vladimir Putin and considers he was framed by the current Prime Minister. The Russian government is rejecting US and European criticism over the embezzlement and money-laundering convictions of former oil tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky. Critics say they are concerned by alleged violations of due process and abuses in the case. Russia's foreign ministry told reporters that Moscow expected "everyone to mind their own business." The trial and conviction are also drawing protests from within the Russian public.
Jailed oil tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky was sentenced to six more years in prison Thursday following a trial seen as payback for his defiance of Vladimir Putin and as a test of the rule of law in Russia. The ruling drew immediate condemnation from Western governments, who called it evidence of the systemic failure of Russia's judicial system. Defense lawyers argued that Putin was behind the sentence, which matched what prosecutors had demanded for Khodorkovsky when they accused him of stealing oil from his own company and laundering the proceeds.