Jailed Yukos oil tycoon rails against Kremlin

JAILED former oil tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky used his closing argument at his second trial yesterday to raise his profile as a political prisoner, saying he would sacrifice his life for the rule of law in Russia.

Khodorkovsky said he was “ashamed” of Russia, a country where “a person who collides with ‘the system’ has no rights whatsoever”.

“If I have to (die in prison), I will not hesitate. The things I believe in are worth dying for,” Khodorkovsky told a packed courtroom.

Russia’s most high profile prisoner is facing six more years behind bars in his second trial, meaning he would serve a total of 14 years in a case that the West has been watching to gauge President Dmitry Medvedev’s commitment to the rule of law.

In the second trial, the former Yukos oil company chief is accused of stealing $27bn (£16.9bn) worth of oil from his firm. The verdict is due to be handed down on 15 December.

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