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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Lawyers Fear the Worst for Khodorkovsky

APFormer Yukos CEO Khodorkovsky
Defense lawyers in the trial of Mikhail Khodorkovsky and Platon Lebedev expect "the worst" for their clients -- guilty verdicts, long sentences and more charges, Izvestia reported Tuesday.

Judges in the trial of Khodorkovsky and Lebedev, the main owners of stricken oil firm Yukos, will announce their verdict on April 27. Prosecutors have demanded the maximum sentence of 10 years in jail for Khodorkovsky and Lebedev.

The trial has run in parallel with the demise of Yukos, the company Khodorkovsky founded and which is now on the brink of bankruptcy, crippled by a $27.5 billion back tax claim.

Both the trial and the tax claims are widely seen as a Kremlin-orchestrated scheme to punish Khodorkovsky for his political ambitions.

"It won't be over with the verdict," a lawyer for Lebedev told Izvestia. "Soon after the verdict, new charges will be brought against Lebedev and Khodorkovsky."

A source close to the accused told Izvestia that the defense was expecting a guilty verdict and a sentence of the maximum of 10 years, or close to that term.

In December, prosecutors opened a money laundering case against Khodorkovsky, a charge carrying another potential 10-year sentence.