Khodorkovsky Sentenced to 6 Additional Years, Bomb Explodes in Athens

BY Francine Uenuma  December 30, 2010 at 7:28 AM EST


Former Yukos chief Mikhail Khodorkovsky speaks with his lawyer from inside the defendant’s glass cage in a Moscow courtroom on Nov. 2, 2010. (Dmitry Kostyukov/AFP/Getty Images)

On his fourth consecutive day in court, former Yukos oil chief Mikhail Khodorkovsky was sentenced to six more years in prison. During the reading of the 800-page verdict, the judge said Khodorkovksy could “only be reformed by being isolated from society”. This is the second conviction for the man who was once the wealthiest in Russia and is a known antagonist of former president Vladimir Putin, who is now prime minister. Monday’s verdict renewed criticism of Russia’s legal system, including from the Obama administration and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

Bomb Explodes Outside Athens Courthouse

An explosive device on a motorcycle blew up several cars and burned portions of the courthouse in Greece’s capital, but no one was hurt. Though no group has yet claimed responsibility for the bombing, an anonymous call gave police a 40-minute warning before the blast, allowing police time to evacuate the area. There are suspicions that a leftist group within Greece is responsible for Thursday’s explosion.

It is also unknown if the incident in Athens is related to an explosion at the Greek embassy in Buenos Aires, Argentina, where a Molotov cocktail was placed at the entrance in the middle of the night.

Human Rights Groups Raise Concerns Over Pakistan Detainees

Human rights groups have expressed concerns over thousands of prisoners held by Pakistan’s security forces, according to the New York Times. A State Department report sent to Congress said the whereabouts of many detainees are unknown. There are also fears that members of an opposition group in Baluchistan and other civilians were held ostensibly as part of the fight against the Taliban. The United States faces a tight-rope walk between criticizing Pakistan’s alleged human rights abuses and maintaining the countries’ alliance to combat extremism.

Former Israeli President Found Guilty of Rape

Former Israel president Moshe Katsav was found guilty of raping an employee when he was tourism minister in 1998, a conviction that could bring a prison sentence of up to 16 years. His son vowed to clear his name, and Katsav said he believes the charges are politically motivated. Katsav, 65, was elected president in 2000; the investigation began in 2006 after he accused an employee of extortion and other women came forward. Katsav resigned from the presidency in 2007, a role that is less powerful than that of prime minister and primarily reserved for a figurehead.

Former Delaware Senate Candidate Reportedly Faces Federal Investigation

A watchdog group reportedly filed a complaint with the Federal Election Commission, saying former Delaware Senate candidate, Republican Christine O’Donnell, used money from her campaign to pay personal expenses.

Christine O'Donnell

O’Donnell’s campaign released a statement that refuted the charges, said it had not yet been contacted by investigators and hinted that the probe is politically motivated. The statement also suggested Vice President Joe Biden, a longtime Delaware senator, could be involved. In an email to supporters, published by POLITICO, O’Donnell wrote that sources had told her the state’s political establishment were working to keep her out of politics, and that her sources “told me the plan was to crush me with investigations…so that my political reputation would become so toxic no one would ever get behind me.”