Putin gets his Yukosgate
Very interesting... The ex-PM's unusual boldness could mean that Putin is becoming a burden to his new boss... http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/e3db7f1e-7548-11de-9ed5-00144feabdc0.html
Mikhail Kasyanov, the former Russian prime minister, has for the first time disclosed details of a closed-door conversation he claims he had with Vladimir Putin in which the then president revealed political motives for the state’s legal pursuit of Mikhail Khodorkovsky, the jailed former Yukos tycoon.
Throwing his backing behind Mr Khodorkovsky’s suit in the European Court of Human Rights, Mr Kasyanov said he had laid out in an affidavit filed to the court in Strasbourg last week Mr Putin’s explanation in July 2003 for the rising state pressure on Mr Khodorkovsky and his Yukos oil company.
“He told me Khodorkovsky…was financing the Communist party without his agreement,” Mr Kasyanov told the FT.
Mr Kasyanov said he had pressed Mr Putin for an explanation many times about the July 2003 arrest of Platon Lebedev, Mr Khodorkovsky’s closest associate, and about mounting state pressure on Mr Khodorkovsky as prosecutors began to investigate tax fraud claims.
Mr Putin had refused to answer, he said, but at one point in July 2003 in a private meeting inside Mr Putin’s office in the Kremlin Palace, the president told him that Mr Khodorkovsky had crossed a line by financing the communists without his permission even as he was financing the liberal Yabloko and Union of Right Forces parties in line with Kremlin orders. “He did not say any more.”