Page last updated at 09:32 GMT, Friday, 22 August 2008 10:32 UK

Parole rejected for ex-Yukos boss

Mikhail Khodorkovsky
Mr Khodorkovsky has been in prison since his arrest in 2003

Former Yukos boss Mikhail Khodorkovsky, has had his appeal for parole refused.

A court in Chita, Siberia, ruled against the 45-year-old who is currently serving an eight-year jail sentence for tax evasion and fraud.

The judge added he had refused the application as Mr Khodorkovsky, had refused to attend a professional education programme at his prison.

Mr Khodorkovsky, says he is the victim of a politically-motivated campaign, a claim Russian authorities deny.

"Since the prisoner Khodorkovsky had no connection with the professional educational programme offered him in detention, he does not deserve conditional early release," Igor Faliliyev, the judge in the case said as he refused the application.

The former tycoon now has 10 days to appeal against the ruling.

New regime

Mr Khodorkovsky's legal team had made the parole application last month amid hopes the authorities would be more open to the request under new president Dmitry Medvedev.

Since taking over from Vladimir Putin, Mr Medvedev has said he wants to improve the rule of law and end arbitrary legal decisions.

Mr Khodorkovsky has already spent almost five years in jail since his arrest.

He was convicted of fraud and embezzlement in 2005.

Yukos, once Russia's biggest oil company, was declared bankrupt in 2006 and ceased to exist as a legal entity in November 2007.

Yukos lawyer convicted of fraud
19 Apr 06 |  Business

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