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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Khodorkovsky 'Ready to Fight' New Charges

Former Yukos CEO Mikhail Khodorkovsky is in "strong spirits" and "ready to fight" new theft and money-laundering charges in a trial scheduled to begin next week, a defense lawyer said Wednesday.

Members of the defense team met with Khodorkovsky on Tuesday in Moscow's Matrosskaya Tishina pretrial detention facility for the first time since his transfer from a jail in Chita, said Vadim Klyugvant, lead counsel for the trial.

"We can't live without hope," Klyugvant said when asked about Khodorkovsky's chances for an acquittal in the trial scheduled to begin March 3 in Moscow's Khamovniky District Court.

Yet he voiced concern that "revenge instead of justice" could prevail.

The court said Khodorkovsky's wife, Inna, will be allowed to visit him in prison, though no specific time has been set, Klyugvant said.

The defense team has submitted documents to the court claiming that high-ranking members of the government orchestrated the conviction of Khodorkovsky and the dismantling of Yukos.

Klyugvant declined to say whether Prime Minister Vladimir Putin and First Deputy Prime Minister Igor Sechin, both mentioned by name in the documents, would be called to testify in the trial.