First it was financial shenanigans, now it is possibly murder. Mikhail Khodorkovsky, who spent 10 years in jail for tax evasion, fraud and money laundering until he was pardoned by Putin has been accused of murder, according the book, “Khodorkovsky, Who Killed My Husband?” which has been widely read in Russia and has now been released in English, according to RT.
It always seemed suspicious. Vladimir Petukhov, the first popularly-elected mayor in Nefteyugansk, was shot while going to work on June 26, 1998. Investigations showed it was an assassination and not a random killing, coordinated by the Vice President of Yukos oil company, Leonid Nevzlin and Yukos security head, Aleksey Pichugin. The latter was sentenced to life in prison for three murders and four attempted murders, and Nevzlin was sentenced in absentia, after he fled to Israel.
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Petukov’s widow, Farida Islamova, said that it was Khodorkovsky who was directly responsible for the murder. She said Khodorkovsky was fully aware that a gang of killers was operating under the roof of his Yukos oil company. She said her husband demanded that Yukos pay taxes, and this led to a personal quarrel between Khodorkovsky and the mayor. A month after the demand was made, on Khodorkovsky’s 35th birthday, according to Islamova, he shot Petukhov.