Europe court: Khodorkovsky case not political

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PARIS (AP) — The European Court of Human Rights has dismissed claims that Russian tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky was prosecuted for political reasons.

But the court said Thursday that Russia unfairly charged him huge tax arrears, and that Russian authorities unfairly sent him and business partner Platon Lebedev to far-away penal colonies.

The court ordered the Russian government to pay 10,000 euros ($13,246) to Khodorkovsky, a very small sum compared to the money he and his oil company Yukos lost since his arrest a decade ago. Khodorkovsky, then Russia's richest man, had publicly challenged the power of President Vladimir Putin.

The court, based in Strasbourg, France, said it found no violation of Khodorkovsky's right to a fair trial and no solid proof that the case was politically driven.

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