Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has been informed about Mikhail Khodorkovsky's hunger strike, a Kremlin spokesperson said on Tuesday.
"The president is acquainted with Mikhail Khodorkovsky's open letter to the head of the Supreme Court," Natalya Timakova said.
Khodorkovsky has gone on hunger strike in protest against the latest court ruling against him.
Once Russia's richest man sent a letter to the head of the Supreme Court, Vyacheslav Lebedev, saying his hunger strike, which he began on Monday, would continue until Medvedev was told what was going on.
Lebedev said he would shortly study Khodorkovsky's appeal.
"I will consider the arguments laid out in it," he said. "As you know, I have never evaded an answer."
He said he would announce his decision in due course.
Khodorkovsky is already serving an eight-year sentence for fraud and tax evasion. He is now accused of stealing $9.6 billion from the $15.8 billion profit generated by Yukos between 1999 and 2003, as well as 350 million tons of oil.
Lawyer Vadim Klyuvgant said Khodorkovsky was going on hunger strike because he believed "the presidential will had been ignored" when Judge Viktor Danilkin on May 14 extended Kodorkovsky's and his business companion Platon Lebedev's detention in a Moscow prison until August 17.
Khodorkovsky said the decision violated a decree put forward by Medvedev, stating that individuals charged with economic crimes cannot be held in pre-trial custody.
His defense counsel Vladimir Krasnov said Danilkin was ruling in accordance with his "personal interests," and the prosecution had no legal right to demand the extension of his detention.
"They are spitting on the law and the presidential amendments," he said.
Conditions at pre-trial detention facilities where Khodorkovsky is being held are harsher than in an ordinary Russian prison or labor camp. However, his defense counsel said Khodorkovsky was not so much concerned about his own situation as about the ruling setting a precedent for others accused of economic crimes.
Khodorkovsky told the Khamovniki court earlier that he could not understand what he was accused of because his specific actions were not described in the criminal case.
MOSCOW, May 18 (RIA Novosti)