French rights envoy meets Khodorkovsky lawyers

22nd June 2010, Comments 0 comments

France's human rights ambassador told lawyers for jailed Russian oil tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky on Tuesday that Paris was keeping a close eye on the case.

Francois Zimeray attended Khodorkovsky's trial that opened in Moscow in March after Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner insisted that an envoy from Paris act as a foreign observer.

Khodorkovsky, already serving an eight-year jail term for fraud and tax evasion, stands accused in the second trial of embezzlement and money-laundering, fresh charges that could see him jailed for 22 more years.

Zimeray met with lawyers Anton Drell, Maria Logan and Vadim Kluyvgant who represent Khodorkovsky, once Russia's richest man who was convicted on charges of financial crimes that he argues were politically motivated.

"Francois Zimeray has assured them of the attention that we are directing to the respect for the rule of law during these proceedings against Mr Khodorkovsky," said foreign ministry spokesman Bernard Valero.

© 2010 AFP

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