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Guriev Faced Questioning Over Yukos Report Financing

Prominent liberal economist Sergei Guriev was questioned about the source of financing for the "expert report" that he co-authored, which concluded that jailed Yukos founder Mikhail Khodorkovsky was sentenced unjustly, according to a source familiar with the situation.

Guriev's lawyer, Ruslan Kozhura, said that his client was questioned by the Investigative Committee last month about, "the circumstances behind the issuing of the expert report," presented at the Kremlin human rights council in December 2011.

Kozhura refused to elaborate further, citing a non-disclosure agreement that he and Guriev had signed with investigators, Interfax reported Thursday.

It emerged on Wednesday that Guriev had been questioned about the politically tinged Yukos case, along with reports about his resignation as head of the New Economic School for "personal reasons" and his presumed emigration under pressure.

Last year, Guriev used one of the Open Government meetings chaired by Prime Minister Medvedev to voice his support for Navalny.

The Kremlin council acquitted Khodorkovsky and his business partner Platon Lebedev of oil theft and money laundering charges, on which they were convicted to six years in prison in May 2011.

The council presented its findings to then-President Dmitry Medvedev, who had ordered the report, in December 2011.

In February 2013, council member and former Constitutional judge Tamara Morshchakova said that a number of experts had come under pressure from the authorities after the findings were announced. One expert was "persecuted" at work, another had a criminal case opened against him, and some experts had their homes searched, she said.

In February, investigators accused the experts of "preparing a report in order to illegally influence the procedures of the delivery of justice," Morshchakova told Interfax at the time.

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