MOSCOW, March 20 - RAPSI. The Supreme Court has instructed the Meshchansky and Khamovniki district courts to provide it with the case materials based on which former YUKOS CEO Mikhail Khodorkovsky and his business partner, former Menatep chief executive Platon Lebedev were sentenced to long prison terms, Kommersant newspaper writes on Wednesday.
On January 21 and February 4, 2013 Khodorkovsky and Lebedev sent complaints to the Supreme Court, urging Supreme Court Chairman Vyacheslav Lebedev to reopen their cases, to quash their sentences as illegal and to release them.
On February 15, Supreme Court Judge Sergei Shmalenyuk asked for the sentences handed down to Khodorkovsky and Lebedev in 2010 and 2005 as part of a "supervisory procedure," the newspaper writes.
The Meshchansky Court confirmed that they had received the Supreme Court's request and were preparing to send it the first YUKOS case.
The Moscow City Court declined to comment on the lawyers' complaints and the requests.
Kommersant's sources in the Investigative Committee said that the committee would investigate the lawyers' complaints and inform them of its conclusions.
The YUKOS case is one of the most high-profile cases in Russia in recent years. In the early 2000s, Khodorkovsky and Lebedev were charged with economic crimes.
YUKOS, then the country's largest oil company, was declared bankrupt and its assets were taken over by Rosneft. Many in the West believe that 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 within the first YUKOS case.
In late 2010, the Khamovniki District Court sentenced them to 14 years in prison for stealing oil and laundering money as part of a second case. They were expected to be released in 2017, taking into consideration the time they had served for the convictions handed down at their first trial. Their sentences were later reduced by one year.
On December 20, 2012, the Moscow City Court Presidium further reduced their sentences from 13 to 11 years.
On March 19, 2013, Lebedev appealed to 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 which sentenced Lebedev and Khodorkovsky to 14 years in prison.
Lebedev claims that the judges committed forgery when considering the appeal against the Khamovniki District Court's ruling and believes they should be prosecuted.
Lebedev's appeal lists various claims, such as the "inclusion of evidently false information in the court ruling, which constitutes conscious forgery by an official."