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Last Updated: Wednesday, 12 October 2005, 12:13 GMT 13:13 UK
Khodorkovsky jail move 'riddle'
Mr Khodorkovsky, second on right, being escorted by prison guards
Mr Khodorkovsky is moving through the Russian penal system
Confusion and mystery surrounds the whereabouts of Mikhail Khodorkovsky, former head of oil giant Yukos who was found guilty of tax evasion and fraud.

When lawyers for Mr Khodorkovsky went to meet their client, they were told he had been moved from a Moscow jail to finish his sentence at another prison.

Authorities declined to give details, and speculation has been rife as to where the troubled tycoon will end up.

Mr Khodorkovsky, once Russia's richest man, is serving an eight year sentence.

'Like everyone else'

His fall from power, lengthy trial and subsequent imprisonment have dominated headlines in Russia and abroad.

A founder of Yukos, the Russian oil and gas giant, Mr Khodorkovsky built up a multi-billion pound fortune before falling foul of the authorities.

Khodorkovsky sitting in the dock of a Moscow court
Mr Khodorkovsky is still trying to get out from behind bars

Critics accuse him of ripping off his homeland's natural wealth for personal gain, while supporters say he is paying the price for his political ambitions and links to opponents of President Vladimir Putin.

Along with his business associate Platon Lebedev, Mr Khodorkovsky has been in jail since October 2003.

After being held in Moscow, the pair have been sent to a penal colony to serve out the remainder of their sentences.

Newspaper reports have claimed that the two men are heading for Siberia, while others have asserted that they will be held in prisons closer to Moscow.

Russia's Federal Prison Service said that relatives would be contacted by mail - which is the normal procedure - when Mr Khodorkovsky and Mr Lebedev arrive at their final destination.

Prison officials said that they would not receive them "like gods; they'll serve their time like everyone else".


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