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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

Friday, Oct. 24


SPIBAs ongoing Breakfast with the Director series continues today, featuring Tomas Hajek, Managing Director of the Northwest Division at Danone Russia. Hajek will be discussing collaborations between businesses from different cultures. The meeting is at 9 a.m. at the Domina Prestige St. Petersburg hotel and all who wish to attend must confirm their participation by Oct. 23.


Get your gong on at Sounds of the Universe, a concert at the city planetarium this evening incorporating six different gongs to create relaxing songs that will transport you upwards into the stratosphere. Tickets are 700 rubles ($17).



Saturday, Oct. 25


AVA Expo, the eighth edition of the event revolving around all things pop culture, returns to Lenexpo this weekend. Geeks, nerds, dweebs and dorks will have their chance to talk science fiction and explore a variety of international pop culture. Tickets for the event can be purchased on their website at avaexpo.ru.



Sunday, Oct. 26


Zenit St. Petersburg returns home for the first time in nearly a month as they host Mordovia Saransk in a Russian Premier League game. Currently at the top of the league thanks to their undefeated start to the season, the northern club hopes to extend the gap between them and second-place CSKA Moscow and win the title for the first time in three years. Tickets are available at the stadium box office or on the clubs website.



Monday, Oct. 27


Today marks the end of the art exhibit Neophobia at the Erarta Museum. Artists Alexey Semichov and Andrei Kuzmin took a neo-modernist approach to represent the array of fears that are ever-present throughout our lives. Tickets are 200 rubles ($4.90).



Tuesday, Oct. 28


The Domina Prestige St. Petersburg hotel plays host to SPIBAs Marketing and Communications Committees round table discussion on Government Relations Practices in Russia this morning. The discussion starts at 9:30 a.m. and participation must be confirmed by Oct. 24.



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