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Yukos Judge Stands by Verdict

The judge who sentenced former Yukos CEO Mikhail Khodorkovsky to stay in prison until 2017 dismissed an allegation that he did not write the verdict himself — just as his aide who made the claim passed a polygraph test to prove she was not lying.

The aide, Natalya Vasilyeva, said earlier this month that Moscow district Judge Viktor Danilkin had been pressured into convicting Khodorkovsky and his partner Platon Lebedev and that the verdict had been written in the Moscow City Court.

A test by rights group Agora confirmed that Vasilyeva did not lie when she spoke about the verdict, Interfax reported Thursday.

The test also indicated that she had come forward because she wanted to protect Danilkin's reputation, not because she received money from the media as critics have claimed.

But Danilkin called Vasilyeva's report slander in an interview with the "Law and Order" television show to be aired late Thursday, Interfax said.

He said he would not sue until the verdict, which he delivered in late December and is now pending appeal, came into force.

"I'm not broken … and I'm ready to go on with my job," Danilkin said. "I wrote the verdict, I wrote it consciously, I signed and read it, and I'm ready to bear responsibility for it until the end of my days. I'm convinced that I'm right."

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