ARKHANGELSK, December 14 - RAPSI. The Arkhangelsk Regional Court has considered the prosecutor's office appeal against the mitigation of Platon Lebedev's sentence and ruled to submit the decision for review to the Velsk District Court.
Two appeals against the Velsk court's ruling in the case were submitted to the Arkhangelsk Regional Court. The ruling mitigated Lebedev's sentence to 10 years from 13 years in prison.
The attorneys found the mitigation insufficient, and stated that Lebedev should have already been released from prison. The prosecutor's office believes that the Velsk court, which has considered Lebedevs case for a second time, passed a mild ruling.
The first-instance court's ruling according to which Lebedev was to be released in summer 2013 has been dismissed. The Velsk court will consider Lebedev's motion to mitigate his sentence for a third time. The motion was initially submitted after the Criminal Code was amended and mitigated the liability for economic crimes.
The YUKOS case has been one of the most high-profile in Russia in recent years. In the early 2000s, the authorities accused YUKOS executives Mikhail Khodorkovsky and 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. In late 2010, a Moscow district court sentenced them to 14 years in prison for oil theft and money laundering. They were expected to be released in 2017, considering the time they had already served for their previous convictions from their first trial.
However, the Moscow City Court reduced their sentences by one year in May 2011. Khodorkovsky is serving his sentence in the Segezha Prison, while Lebedev is serving time in the Velsk Prison in the Arkhangelsk Region.