MOSCOW, December 26 (RAPSI) – Mikhail Khodorkovsky’s former business partner Platon Lebedev says that any decision by the Russian Supreme Court favoring the defense will lead to his feedom, Khodorkovsky’s press center reported Thursday.
On Wednesday, Chairman of the Russian Supreme Court Vyacheslav Lebedev filed an application seeking a reconsideration of the first of two cases that had brought about former YUKOS CEO Khodorkovsky's decade-long prison sentence.
“Any lawful descision on any appeal will lead to freedom,” – said Lebedev.
In 2005, Khodorkovsky and his business partner Platon 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, taking into account the time they had already served for their convictions from their first trial in 2005. However, on May 24, the Moscow City Court reduced their sentences by one year each. Then last year, the Moscow City Court reduced the sentence again from 13 to 11 years. In August the Supreme Court held that the sentences of Khodorkovsky and Lebedev should be lowered to 10 years and 10 months, thus partially satisfying their requests on supervisory appeal.
Khodorkovsky was released last week from serving out his sentence further as Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a decree pardoning him.
The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) in Strasbourg held in July that the charges filed against Khodorkovsky and Lebedev were brought in accordance with the law, but that their rights had been violated in connection with the court proceedings and their placement in remote Siberian penal colonies.
Russia has waived its right to request the referral of Khodorkovsky’s case to the Grand Chamber of the ECHR for fresh consideration.