A Moscow district court hearing a new case against former Yukos CEO Mikhail Khodorkovsky on Wednesday refused to summon Prime Minister Vladimir Putin as a witness.
It also turned down a motion by the Khodorkovsky defense to summon Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin and Deputy Prime Minister Igor Sechin.
However, earlier on Wednesday it summoned Sberbank head German Gref, who was previously Russia's economy and trade minister, and Russian Industry and Trade Minister Viktor Khristenko.
They are to appear in the Khamovniki court on June 21 and 22, respectively.
Khodorkovsky's lawyers previously said they also wanted to question Russian Security Council chief Nikolai Patrushev.
Other high profile witnesses could include former prime ministers Mikhail Kasyanov, Viktor Chernomyrdin and Yevgeny Primakov, as well as State Duma Speaker Boris Gryzlov, former Central Bank chief Viktor Gerashchenko and former deputy prime minister Boris Nemtsov.
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.
Khodorkovsky told the 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 19 (RIA Novosti)