Judge in Khodorkovsky case nears sentencing phase
MOSCOW (AP) -- The judge in the trial against jailed oil tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky is nearing the end of his reading of the verdict and may soon announce the new prison sentence.
Judge Viktor Danilkin has been speed reading the verdict, a lengthy summary of the trial, since Monday when he pronounced Khodorkovsky guilty of stealing oil from his own company and laundering the proceeds.
By Thursday afternoon, the judge appeared to be approaching the sentencing phase.
The 47-year-old Khodorkovsky is in the final year of an eight-year prison sentence after being convicted of tax evasion. Prosecutors in the second trial have asked for a new sentence that could keep him behind bars until 2017.
The legal attack on Khodorkovsky has been seen as punishment for challenging the power of Vladimir Putin.
(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)