US 'deeply concerned' by conviction of Putin foe

HONOLULU — The White House said the US is deeply concerned about the conviction of a Russian oil tycoon who once challenged the power of Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin.
In a statement, the White House said it is troubled by allegations of due process violations and what appears to be "an abusive use of the legal system for improper ends." The White House said the ruling undermines Russia's commitment to deepening the rule of law and hurts its ability to strengthen ties with the US.
Putin is seen as the driving force behind the trial of Mikhail Khodorkovsky, who was convicted Monday of stealing from his own company.
The White House said US President Barack Obama has spoken frequently about the case with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and will closely monitor developments.
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