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Khodorkovsky on Hunger Strike in Russian Prison

A lawyer for imprisoned Russian oil tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky says his client has begun a hunger strike in solidarity with a colleague being held in solitary confinement.

Lawyer Anton Drel says Khodorkovsky began his fast Friday after authorities placed his business partner, Platon Lebedev, in solitary confinement on charges of violating detention center rules and insulting the institution's personnel.

In May, a Moscow court sentenced the two men to nine years in prison on fraud and tax evasion charges.

Critics of Russian President Vladimir Putin have called the case against Khodorkovsky, the one-time largest shareholder in the Russia's giant Yukos oil firm, retribution for his support of the political opposition. The Kremlin has denied the charge.

Some information for this report provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.