Judge's aide who criticized Khodorkovsky verdict quits

March 28, 2011 12:26


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MOSCOW - An aide to the judge who sentenced ex-tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky to six more years in prison stepped down on Monday, weeks after saying the verdict was dictated by higher-level members of the judiciary.

Natalia Vasilyeva, aide to chairman of Moscow's Khamovniki court Viktor Danilkin, said last month the verdict he read out was not written by him, reinforcing the suspicions of Kremlin critics that pressure had been put on the judge.

"Natalia Vasilyeva, who has returned from her sick leave today, filed a letter of resignation which has been approved," said Milentina Kapustkina, the court's spokeswoman.

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