Topic: The History of a Yukos CEO
"No, I do not admit my guilt," Khodorkovsky said.
Lebedev made a similar statement, saying, "I have never stolen anything in my life."
He labeled the new charges brought against him as "schizophrenic fraud."
"I declare that the state prosecution committed a crime by putting forward such forged accusations," Lebedev said.
The two men, who have been serving eight-year sentences for fraud and tax evasion since 2006, were transferred from a Siberian prison to a Moscow detention center to answer the fresh embezzlement and money laundering charges.
The new charges deal with the theft of government shares and the laundering of money earned from illegal oil sales, in total worth about $50 billion. If convicted, the two could see their jail terms extended by 21 years.
Lawyers acting for the businessmen have called their clients political prisoners, and say the new charges are "disgraceful" and unsubstantiated.
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News that Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin would resign in order to run for the mayoral election in September came as quite a shock. Sobyanin’s political potential is fairly dubious, not to mention his approval ratings. He has not finished many of the projects he initiated and the electoral effect from these projects is expected to come a bit later than September 2013. Sobyanin’s opponents were not entirely unprepared for this blitzkrieg.