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Russia Sues Kremlin Critic Khodorkovsky, Ex-Business Partner 

Mikhail Khodorkovsky and Platon Lebedev in court in 2010. Stanislav Krasilnikov / TASS

Russian prosecutors have filed an unspecified lawsuit against the exiled former tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky and his one-time business partner Platon Lebedev, the Vedomosti business newspaper reported Thursday.

Moscow’s Meshchansky District Court registered the suit against Khodorkovsky, Lebedev, and the defunct Siberian Leasing Company on May 8, the newspaper said, citing Russia’s database of court cases. Initial hearings have been scheduled for May 27.

According to Vedomosti, the claim was filed in the “others” category, which it said includes confiscations of private property by the state, suggesting the case may be part of Russia’s recent nationalization drive.

Russia’s Prosecutor General’s Office has not yet commented on the case, and Vedomosti reported that Khodorkovsky’s spokesperson said they received no information regarding the legal suit.

In January, a Moscow region court granted a request from the prosecutor’s office to seize Khodorkovsky’s and Lebedev’s estate in the Yablonevy Sad neighborhood, according to Vedomosti.

The Siberian Leasing Company went bankrupt in 2019, the newspaper said, adding that a court of arbitration found the company to be under the “factual control” of Khodorkovsky’s and Lebedev’s seized and then bankrupted oil company Yukos.

Khodorkovsky and Lebedev were arrested in 2003 and jailed in two different trials in 2005 and 2010.

Khodorkovsky, once Russia’s wealthiest man, left the country after he was pardoned by President Vladimir Putin in late 2013, while Lebedev was released in early 2014.

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