VELSK (Arkhangelsk Region), November 1 - RAPSI. Platon Lebedev, the jailed business partner of Russian oil tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky, will be released in July 2013 under an Arkhangelsk Region Velsk District Court ruling. The ruling reduces his prison term from 13 to 10 years.

On Thursday, the court considered a motion filed by the convict's defense attorney. The motion was filed after amendments to the Criminal Code that mitigate financial criminal liability. The attorney requested that the court re-qualify the charges under the amended articles and alter the penalty accordingly.

Vladimir Krasnov, Lebedev's attorney, said that "reducing the term from 13 years to nine years and four months, the term that Lebedev has already served in fact, will be the closest to a legal, just and humane term."

The YUKOS case has been one of the most high profile in Russia over recent years. In the early 2000s, the authorities accused YUKOS executives Mikhail Khodorkovsky and Platon Lebedev of tax evasion. YUKOS, then the country's largest oil company, went bankrupt and its assets were taken over by Rosneft. Many in the West believe the case was politically driven. Moscow denies these charges.

In 2005, Khodorkovsky and Lebedev were sentenced to eight years in prison for fraud and tax evasion.