The reading of a verdict in the trial of Yukos oil group founder Mikhail Khodorkovsky entered its second week at a Moscow court today.

The proceedings so far are believed to indicate a guilty verdict for Mr Khodorkovsky and his business associate Platon Lebedev, who are both accused on seven charges of fraud, tax evasion and embezzlement.

However, the three-justice panel is reading from a judgment hundreds of pages long and lawyers believe it could be days or even weeks before the final decision is announced.

The verdict being read out is meant to summarise the entire trial before declaring the defendants' guilt or innocence. The court first goes over the evidence in each charge, then interprets the evidence, then only in the final stage announces a verdict.