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Yukos Verdict Reading Adjourns for 5th Day


Mikhail Khodorkovsky
The court reading the verdict in the trial of Russian oil tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky has adjourned for the fifth day without delivering its final decision.

Mr. Khodorkovsky, who once headed the Russian giant oil firm Yukos, is on trial with his business partner, Platon Lebedev, for tax evasion and fraud. The proceedings are to resume Monday.

Mr. Khodorkovsky's lawyers accuse the prosecution of dragging out the proceedings to kill media interest. The verdict must be read aloud, and only at the end of the reading is the verdict of guilt or innocence announced.

The two are widely expected to be convicted on charges including tax fraud and embezzlement stemming from privatization deals in the 1990s. They face up to 10 years in prison.

Critics accuse the Kremlin of retaliating for Mr. Khodorkovsky's political activities. The Russian government says it is cracking down on corporate crime.

Some information for this report provided by AP.