MOSCOW, March 19 - RAPSI, Maria Petrova. Former Menatep CEO and Mikhail Khodorkovsky's business partner Platon Lebedev has petitioned the Investigative Committee to open a criminal case against the Moscow City Court judges who considered the appeal against the Khamovniki District Court's ruling sentencing Lebedev and Khodorkovsky to 14 years in prison, the Khodorkovsky-Lebedev online press center reported on Tuesday.
Lebedev has reported a crime allegedly committed by the judges while considering the appeal against the Khamovniki District Court's ruling. He has accused them of forgery and said they should be prosecuted.
Lebedev's petition lists various facts such as the "inclusion of clearly false information in the court ruling, which is nothing less than conscious forgery by an official," according to the press center.
According to Lebedev's attorney, the alleged forgery qualifies as official misconduct, which calls for prosecution in accordance with the Criminal Code.
The YUKOS case has been one of the most high-profile in Russia in recent years. In the early 2000s, the authorities accused Khodorkovsky and Lebedev of economic crimes. 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, although Moscow denies the charges.
In 2005, Khodorkovsky and Lebedev were sentenced to eight years in prison for fraud and tax evasion. In late 2010, a Moscow Khamovniki 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 that they had already served for their previous convictions from their first trial. Their sentence was later reduced by one year.
On December 20, 2012, the Moscow City Court Presidium further reduced their sentence from 13 to 11 years.