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YUKOS founder Khodorkovsky attacked in jail-Interfax

Written by: Staff
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MOSCOW, Apr 15 (Reuters) Mikhail Khodorkovsky, the founder of Russia's YUKOS oil company, was wounded in an attack in the Siberian prison where he is serving an eight year sentence, his lawyer told Interfax news agency today.

Yuri Shmidt told Interfax that Khodorkovksy was taken to the prison hospital after being attacked with a sharp object on Thursday night. The wound needed stitches and he was still in the hospital today, he said.

Khodorkovsky, once Russia's richest man, was convicted of fraud and tax evasion last year along with another of YUKOS's top shareholders, Platon Lebedev.

Both men say they have cut their ties with YUKOS, which has been brought to the brink of collapse by Russian tax officials, who paralysed the company by freezing its assets and demanding 33 billion dollars in back taxes.

A group of Western banks began bankruptcy proceedings against the firm in a Moscow court last month, and analysts say the company is likely to be swallowed by its main creditor, state oil firm Rosneft.

REUTERS SHB PM1822

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