Putin says jailing of former oil tycoon not political

By REUTERS
June 4, 2012 13:34

 
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MOSCOW - Russian former oil tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky's jailing was not politically motivated, Vladimir Putin said on Monday in response to criticism over his human rights record at his first summit with EU leaders since returning to the presidency on May 7.

Khodorkovsky, once Russia's richest man, was arrested in 2003 after falling foul of the Kremlin. His oil company was brought to its knees by back tax claims and its main assets were sold off by the state.

Putin also said Russia needed new laws governing demonstrations, suggesting that he supported a proposal by the ruling party to increase fines for those found violating city rules during protests.

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