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Judge Rejects Request to Quit

Published: March 6, 2009 (Issue # 1454)


MOSCOW The judge in the second trial of former Yukos CEO Mikhail Khodorkovsky on Wednesday rejected a request by the businessmans lawyers to recuse himself.

Lawyers for Khodorkovsky on Wednesday demanded the removal of Judge Viktor Danilkin, who is presiding over Khodorkovskys trial on new charges of embezzling more than $25 billion at Moscows Khamovnichesky District Court.

The judge noted in his ruling that there are no grounds, for removing himself, said Yelena Liptser, a lawyer for Khodorkovskys co-defendant, Platon Lebedev, Interfax reported.

Khodorkovskys lawyers said the move was a last resort after the judge had dismissed several of their motions on Tuesday, including demands to change the state prosecutor and remove Khodorkovsky from a glass-walled cage in the courtroom.

We do not understand why the Khamovnichesky court is the appropriate court to try this case, said Vadim Kluvgant, Khodorkovskys lead lawyer.

One of the lead prosecutors, Dmitry Shokhin, was also involved in Khodorkovskys first trial, which ended with the businessman being convicted of fraud and tax evasion and sentenced to eight years in prison. Shokhin subsequently was promoted to the rank of colonel.

Prosecutors accuse Khodorkovsky and Lebedev of embezzling 900 billion rubles ($25 billion) worth of oil and laundering 500 billion rubles.

The two men face new sentences of up to 22 1/2 years in prison if convicted.

Khodorkovskys lawyers say the new charges are absurd because their client is charged with stealing more oil from Yukos than it produced during the years in question.

They are accused of stealing oil from three Yukos production units from 1998 to 2003. Two of the units, Samaraneftegaz and Tomskneft, have filed lawsuits seeking 170 billion rubles in damages, Tomskneft official Andrei Pyatikopov said Tuesday, Interfax reported.

Samaraneftegaz, however, will probably not press through with the lawsuit because it recovered damages

(SPT, Reuters)





 


ALL ABOUT TOWN

Wednesday, Jan. 28



Feel like becoming a publishing mogul? Stop by the Freedom anti-cafe at 7 Ulitsa Kazanskaya today at 8 p.m. where Simferopol, Crimea-based founder and chief editor of the Holst online magazine will talk about creating an internet magaine, including what stories to cover, how find an audience and build a team, where to find inspiration and how to stand out from the crowd. Admission is the normal price of the anti-café 2 rubles per minute, which includes tea and snacks.



Learn everything you always wanted to know about wine, and perhaps a bit more, at the Le Nez du Vin seminar for wine lovers. Held at the WineJet Sommelier School, 100 Bolshoy Prospekt Petrograd Side, at 7:30 p.m., the event will cover wine production, the basics of wine tasting, the concept of terroir and the various countries where wine is produced. Tickets are 750 rubles and include a wine tasting. Register by calling +7 921 744 6264.



Thursday, Jan. 29



Attend a master class on how to deal with complicated business negotiations today at the International Banking Institute, 6 Malaya Sadovaya Ulitsa. Running from 3 to 6 p.m., Vadim Sokolov, an assistant professor at the St. Petersburg State University of Economics, will introduce aspects of managing the negotiation process and increasing its effectiveness. Attendance is free with pre-registration by telephone on 909 3056 or online at www.ibispb.ru



Celebrate what would be writer Anton Chekhov's 155th birthday at the Bokvoed bookshop at 46 Nevsky Prospekt. Starting at 5 p.m., the legendary author will be feted with readings of his stories and short performances based on his plays by various St. Petersburg actors. Chekhov's books will also be offered at a 15% discount during the event.



Friday, Jan. 30



The Lermontov Central Library, 19 Liteyny Prospekt, will screen 'Almost Famous in English with Russian subtitles at 6:30 p.m. Cameron Crowe's Academy Award-winning comedy from 2000 stars Billy Crudup, Kate Hudson, and Patrick Fugit, and tells the story of a budding music journalist at Rolling Stone magazine in the 1970s. Admission is free.



Meet renowned Russian poet, journalist and writer Dmitry Bykov, famous for his biographies of Boris Pasternak, Bulat Okudzhava and Maxim Gorky, and winner of 2006 National Bestseller Award. Bykov will read old and new poems as well as answer questions about his works at the St. Petersburg Philharmonic, Main Hall, at 7 p.m. Tickets start at 1,000 rubles and are available at city ticket offices and the from the Philharmonic website www.philharmonia.spb.ru.



A retrospective of the films of Roman Polanski starts today at Loft-Project Etagi, 74 Ligovsky Prospekt, with a screening of Repulsion at 7 p.m. and Rosemarys Baby at 9:15 p.m. The series runs through Feb. 4 and will include Polanski's eminently creepy The Tenant, the cult comedy The Fearless Vampire Killers and Cul-de-sac among others. Tickets are 150-200 rubles and the complete schedule is available at www.vk.com/artpokaz/



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