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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

Thursday, Aug. 28


Learn more about the citys upcoming municipal elections during the presentation of the project Road Map for the Municipal Elections being presented this evening in the conference hall on the third floor of Biblioteka at 21 Nevsky Prospekt. Steve Kaddins, a coordinator for Beautiful St. Petersburg, which gives residents an online forum to lodge complaints about infrastructure problems in the city, will be on hand to answer any questions. The meeting starts at 7 p.m. and is open to all.



Friday, Aug. 29


Park Pobedy will feature the sights and sounds of the world outside of Russia during the Open Art International Festival today. Taste foreign cuisine, learn how to make tea like the Chinese or relax in a hammock during the free event. Although entrance is free, you must register beforehand if you wish to attend.



Saturday, Aug. 30


Break out the tweed and channel your inner Englishman during the English Hunt Picnic this afternoon organized by the Bagmut stables from Krasny Bor in the Leningrad Oblast. Equestrian stunts, English archery and classic hunting fashion will all be available to visitors hoping to live like the characters in Downton Abbey if only for a day. Tickets for the event cost 7,900 rubles ($219.40).


Bookworms will have their chance to swap out well-read classics for something new for their bookshelves at Knigovorot, a free book exchange that will be held in the Yusupov Garden on Sadovaya Ulitsa today. Come for the chance to get a new book or take the opportunity to discuss the literary merits of your favorite authors with fellow fans.



Sunday, Aug. 31


The Neva Delta International Blues Festival wraps up this afternoon on Vasilevsky Island with a concert featuring not only some of Russias best blues bands but international stars as well. Admission is free for all three days of the festival, which begins on Aug. 29, and the shows starting at 5 p.m. each day.



Monday, Sept. 1


Today marks the beginning of Lermontov-Fest, a fall festival celebrating the life of one of Russias most remarkable poets who, in a fate eerily similar to Pushkins, was killed in a duel at the age of 26. Organized by the Lermontov Library System, the next several months will see art exhibitions, concerts and public lectures focusing on the Lermontovs short yet prolific career. Check the Lermontov Library Systems website for more details.



Tuesday, Sept. 2


Join expats and practice your Russian during the Russian Clubs weekly meetings every Tuesday night at 7:30 p.m. The club is free to participate in although you need to be a registered member of Couchsurfing.



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