German leader denounces Khodorkovsky prison conditions Jaime Jansen at 1:23 PM ET
[JURIST] German Chancellor Angel Merkel [official website] called the conditions in the remote Siberia prison [JURIST report] holding former Yukos [corporate website] Russian oil tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky [MosNews profile; JURIST news archive] "unacceptable" in a letter published Thursday, and said that the German government had called on Russia to respect international rights standards. Merkel made the comments in response to a call by Germany's opposition Free Democrats [official website] for her to raise Khordorkovsky's imprisonment with Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin.
In June, prison authorities placed Khodorkovsky in solitary confinement for the third time [JURIST report] after violating a prison rule. Khodorkovsky was convicted in May 2005 of tax evasion [JURIST report], and the government effectively nationalized Yukos to pay off $33 billion in back taxes. The remaining Yukos assets will likely be sold this year. Bankruptcy proceedings [BBC report] began in late March for Yukos, while Yukos vice president Vasily Aleksanyan was charged [JURIST report] with embezzlement and money laundering in early April. MosNews has more. Berliner-Zeitung has local coverage.
Paper Chase is JURIST's real-time legal news service, powered by a team of 30 law student reporters and editors led by law professor Bernard Hibbitts at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. As an educational service, Paper Chase is dedicated to presenting important legal news and materials rapidly, objectively and intelligibly in an accessible, ad-free format.