A Russian court found Jewish oligarch and philanthropist Leonid Nevzlin guilty of murder.
The Moscow city court found Nevzlin, one of the top executives at the now defunct Yukos oil company, guilty of ordering several murders and attempted murders, including the killing of a local mayor. Nevzlin, who lives in Israel, was tried in absentia.
Nevzlin was a top aid to Yukos chief Mikhail Khodorkovsky, who has been in a Russian prison since 2003 serving a sentence for tax fraud. In 2006, Yukos’ security chief, Alexei Pichugin, was sentenced to 24 years in prison for carrying out murders.
Nevzlin, who fled to Israel and became an Israeli citizen after Khodorkovsky’s arrest, is accused of working with Pichugin to organize the murders. Nevzlin repeatedly has denied the charges, saying that they are part of an attempt by the Russian government to discredit Khodorkovsky.