MOSCOW, June 30 (RAPSI) – Mikhail Khodorkovsky could be summoned for questioning in relation to the murder of the Nefteyugansk mayor, Investigative Committee spokesman Vladimir Markin said.

Markin said they have resumed the investigation into the murder of Vladimir Petukhov, the mayor of Nefteyugansk, a city in western Siberia, in 1998 due to new evidence.

They suspect that Mikhail Khodorkovsky, former head of Russia’s largest oil producing company Yukos, could have paid for the murder and several other serious crimes. Markin said the fact that Khodorkovsky lives abroad won’t prevent them from taking action.

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 Vladimir Petukhov provoked a public outcry 17 years ago, when several media outlets speculated that he was directly involve in the re-division of Russia’s oil assets.

Mikhail Khodorkovsky spent a decade in prison in what his supporters and human rights activists saw as a politically motivated case.

He was unexpectedly pardoned in late December 2013 and flew to Germany the same day.