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Putin To Ask Justice Minister About Khodorkovskiy

MOSCOW. Feb 7 (Interfax) - Russian President Vladimir Putin has voiced his intention to ask the justice minister about what is happening to ex-Yukos CEO Mikhail Khodorkovsky in the penal colony where he is serving out his term.

"Since you have called my attention to this matter, I will definitely ask the justice minister what is going on there, where he has been sent and why," Putin said in an interview with Spanish media outlets.

"A man convicted by a court cannot choose where he will serve his term. This is a decision for the Justice Ministry," he said.

Asked whether the penal colony's administration has been given special orders or has advice on how to act in relation to Khodorkovsky Putin replied, "To be honest, I don't even know what you are talking about."

"Frankly speaking, you are the first person from whom I have heard that Khodorkovsky has been incarcerated. As regards someone's revenge I can't understand who could take their revenge on him or why. If he violated some rule, the institution's administration would have reacted to this. But I don't know anything about this," he said.

"Penitentiaries are not a corporation where he is the top boss issuing orders," Putin said.

"He must obey the regulations which exist in that institution," he said.