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Last Updated: Thursday, 20 October 2005, 13:18 GMT 14:18 UK
Russian tycoon in Siberian jail
Khodorkovsky sitting in the dock of a Moscow court
Khodorkovsky will be given work in the jail
The former head of Russian oil giant Yukos, Mikhail Khodorkovsky, has been sent to a penal colony in Siberia to serve out his eight-year jail sentence.

The tycoon, once Russia's richest man, was convicted of tax evasion and fraud.

He has been sent to Krasnokamensk, in the eastern Chita region close to the Chinese border, about 4,700km (3,000 miles) east of Moscow, his lawyer said.

He has been placed in quarantine for two weeks after which he "will be assigned work", said a jail official.

'Price of ambition?'

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

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

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, Khodorkovsky has been in jail since October 2003.

Lebedev has been sent to a prison in the Arctic region of Yamalo-Nenets, nearly 2,000km (1,200 miles) from Moscow.

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