MOSCOW, May 15 (RAPSI, Maria Petrova) – Platon Lebedev, who was sentenced to 11 years in prison for oil theft, and his former business partner Mikhail Khodorkovsky will be released in a planned amnesty for businessmen convicted of economic crimes, Lebedev’s attorney Vladimir Krasnov said.

Business ombudsman Boris Titov said last week that he plans to propose to the State Duma to announce an amnesty to coincide with Entrepreneur's Day, a non-public holiday, on May 26.

The leadership of the United Russia parliamentary group, as well as Duma Criminal Law Committee head Pavel Krasheninnikov, stated that they would back the initiative, but that the deputies should study the statistics first.

If the Duma passes the amnesty legislation, Khodorkovsky and Lebedev will likely be released, Krasnov said. His confidence is based on recent court rulings that confirmed that Khodorkovsky and Lebedev were indicted of “white collar crimes.”

Meanwhile, Khodorkovsky’s attorney Vadim Klyuvgant refused to comment in a conversation with RAPSI.

He said the amnesty was not planned as an “individual act,” but will apply to groups selected by the nature of their crimes. This will apply to specific categories of convicts, he said.

In 2010, Moscow's Khamovnichesky District Court sentenced former YUKOS chief Khodorkovsky and his partner, former Menatep CEO Lebedev, to 14 years in prisons on charges of embezzling 200 million metric tonnes of oil and of laundering the proceeds.  The sentence was later reduced by one year. On Dec. 20, 2012, the Moscow City Court reduced the sentence from 13 to 11 years.