MOSCOW, December 23 (RAPSI) – Former Yukos owner Mikhail Khodorkovsky has been arrested in absentia, official representative of the Investigative Committee Vladimir Markin told journalists on Wednesday.

Khodorkovsky was put on the international wanted list.

On December 11 Khodorkovsky was charged in absentia with organizing the murder of Nefteyugansk mayor Vladimir Petukhov in 1998.

According to investigators, a criminal group killed several people between 1998 and 2002, including Petukhov, on orders from former Yukos shareholder Leonid Nevzlin. In 2009, Nevzlin, who moved to Israel in 2003, was sentenced in absentia to life in prison. Alexei Pichugin, former chief of economic security at Yukos, was found guilty of murdering Petukhov and receive a life sentence in 2008.

The murder of Petukhov provoked a public outcry 17 years ago, when several media outlets speculated that he was directly involved in the re-division of Russia’s oil assets. Investigation into  Petukhov’s murder case was not closed but suspended.

Russian President Vladimir Putin signed an executive order releasing Khodorkovsky, who spent 10 years in prison for fraud and embezzlement, on December 20, 2013. The same day, the released tycoon went to Berlin on a chartered flight.