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Former Russian Oligarch Khodorkovsky Charged With 2 Murders

Mikhail Khodorkovsky

Exiled former Russian oligarch Mikhail Khodorkovsky has been charged with masterminding two murders in the 1990s, the Interfax news agency reported Friday.

The former Yukos CEO stands accused of organizing the 1998 murder of the mayor of oil town Nefteyugansk, Vladimir Petukhov, and the attempted murder of his bodyguard, Vyacheslav Kokoshkin, the report said, citing Investigative Committee spokesperson Vladimir Markin.

Khodorkovsky has also been charged with plotting an attack on businessman Yevgeny Rybin, in which Rybin's bodyguard was killed and two other people were injured.

Khodorkovsky, who formally resides in Switzerland, was earlier summoned for questioning on the case.

Since he failed to show up for questioning, a warrant for Khodorkovsky's arrest would be put out soon, the report said.

Spokeswoman for Khodorkovsky, Kulle Pispanen, said Khodorkovsky considered the accusations to be unfounded and would not change his plans over the warrant.

“He is a free person and is not going to limit himself on any front,” she told Interfax.

Khodorkovsky spent more than a decade behind bars after being stripped of his Yukos assets in what was widely seen as politically motivated case. He was pardoned by Russia's President Vladimir Putin in December 2013.

Since his release, Khodorkovsky has been a vocal critic of the Kremlin, saying on Wednesday that a “revolution” in Russia was inevitable and could happen as soon as 2018.

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