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Learning English - Words in the News
31 May, 2004 - Published 15:34 GMT
Russia’s richest man appears in court
Mr Khodorkovsky
Mr Khodorkovsky

Supporters waited outside Meshchansky Courthouse in Moscow, where Russia's richest man has been accused of fraud, embezzlement and tax evasion. It was expected that the date for his trial would be set, but now his supporters will be waiting a little longer. This report from Steve Rosenberg in Moscow.

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Russia's richest man was led into the courthouse through a back entrance, out of view of his supporters. A small group had gathered at the front of the building. They held portraits of Mikhail Khodorkovsky and placards calling for his freedom. Among the crowd were Mr Khodorkovsky's parents, but together with the media they were barred from the courtroom.

The former head of the oil giant Yukos faces trial on seven counts, including fraud, embezzlement and tax evasion. If convicted, he could face up to ten years in prison. This preliminary hearing had been expected to set a date for the trial, but it was adjourned until June the 8th after the tax inspectorate had requested more time to study the case. The businessman's supporters maintained the case against him is politically motivated. They accuse the Kremlin of trying to punish Mr Khodorkovsky for playing politics.

Listen to the words

If you bar someone, you stop them entering

If you face something difficult, you have to deal with it

seven counts
seven different criminal acts

getting money by lying or cheating

Embezzlement is stealing money from the place where you work

tax evasion
illegally avoiding tax

shown to be guilty at the end of the trial

preliminary hearing
the first meeting of the court, to find out all the facts

stopped temporarily

playing politics
getting involved with politics

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