Russia slams tycoon case criticism


Mikhail Khodorkovsky appears in court in Moscow (AP)

Russia’s foreign ministry has angrily rejected Western criticism of jailed oil tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky’s conviction in a second criminal case, saying it amounted to pressuring the court.

Khodorkovsky, once Russia’s richest man, was convicted of stealing oil from his own company and laundering the proceeds in a verdict likely to keep the tycoon who once challenged the power of Vladimir Putin behind bars for several more years.

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton led a chorus of political figures in the United States and Europe in condemning the verdict, saying that it raised “serious questions about selective prosecution and about the rule of law being overshadowed by political considerations”.

The Russian Foreign Ministry has said that the claims of selective justice were unfounded.

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