The Russian authorities in absentia brought to the former owner of YUKOS Mikhail Khodorkovsky on charges of the murder of Nefteyugansk mayor Vladimir Petukhov in 1998.
Official representative of the Investigative Committee of Russia Vladimir Markin said that Mikhail Khodorkovsky is accused of the murder of two people and in the organization of attempt at murder of four persons.
The investigative Committee summoned Khodorkovsky for questioning on 11 December. Living in Switzerland the former head of YUKOS for questioning did not appear, his lawyers also did not come.
On the website SK says that it is about the murder of 26 June 1998 of Nefteyugansk mayor Vladimir Petukhov and of attempted murder of Vyacheslav Kokoshkin accompanying him, as well as the attempted murder on 24 November 1998 and 5 March 1999 Manager of the company «East petroleum handelsges m b.x» Evgeny Rybin, in which was killed his bodyguard and wounded two of his companions.
Investigators claim to have identified an active role of Khodorkovsky in the organization of these crimes, since without his knowledge in Yukos had not taken any serious decisions.
On December 8, Russian authorities declared wanted by Khodorkovsky in the murder of Vladimir Petukhov.
In 90-e years of the last century, YUKOS was the main enterprise of the city of Nefteyugansk. According to some reports, the mayor Petukhov was in conflict with the company due to non-payment of taxes to the local budget. He demanded to Institute against YUKOS criminal case, and June 15, 1998 hunger strike for the sake of the criminal case on the fact of tax evasion. The action of the mayor was terminated after promising the Governor of the Khanty-Mansiysk Autonomous Okrug Alexander Filipenko to verify the information and to take action. However, on 26 June 1998, on the day of Khodorkovsky’s birthday, Petukhov was shot on the way to work. The widow of mayor argued that the reason for the murder was «an attempt to test the activity of NK YUKOS, caused by the tax non-payment».