Whistle-Blower In Khodorkovsky Case Quits Job

MOSCOW — A Russian court employee who claimed a judge was pressured into convicting former oil tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky has quit her job, RFE/RL’s Russian Service reports.

Natalya Vasilyeva claimed last month that senior officials pressured Judge Viktor Danilkin into convicting Khodorkovsky on additional fraud charges in December and extending the former Yukos leader’s prison term through 2017. Danilkin denied the charge.

Vasilyeva, an assistant to Danilkin, told RFE/RL today that she decided to quit her job as her colleagues’ “attitude toward me has changed.”

Vasilyeva said many people at work had stopped talking to her and refused to greet her after her statement regarding the Khodorkovsky trial.

On March 18, after Vasilyeva returned to work following a vacation, she was told that she was being reassigned to assist a judge of civil cases. Vasilyeva took sick leave before officially resigning from the job after her return to the workplace today.

Danilkin found Khodorkovsky guilty of stealing billions of dollars of oil from his own company and laundering the proceeds.

The former Yukos oil giant chief was first detained in 2003 and was found guilty of tax evasion two years later, receiving an eight-year sentence.

Read more in Russian here

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