MOSCOW, June 26 (RAPSI) - Mikhail Khodorkovsky, former CEO of YUKOS, once Russia's largest oil company, who has been sentenced to 11 years in prison for stealing oil and laundering the proceeds, will not be released in the planned financial amnesty, said Andrei Nazarov, vice president of the Delovaya Rossiya business association.
Nazarov helped prepare the documents for the amnesty.
"There are three reasons for this - the amnesty will only include first offenders who have compensated the damages and will not cover those who have been sentenced for a cumulative offense," he said. "So, it is unlikely that he (Khodorkovsky) will be covered by the amnesty."
Business ombudsman Boris Titov told journalists that "a special commission will provide legal conclusions on the case" of Khodorkovsky and his ex-partner, former Menatep CEO Platon Lebedev.
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 of embezzlement and tax evasion. In 2005, the court sentenced Khodorkovsky and Lebedev to eight years in prison for fraud and tax evasion.
Many in the West believe the case against YUKOS was politically driven, but Moscow has denied the charges.
In late 2010, a Moscow district court sentenced Khodorkovsky and Lebedev to 14 years in prison for oil theft and money laundering. They were expected to be released in 2017, taking into account the time that they had already served for their convictions from their first trial in 2005. However, on May 24, 2011, the Moscow City Court reduced their sentences by one year. They now may be released in 2016.
A draft law on granting amnesties for economic crimes initiated by President Vladimir Putin has been submitted to the State Duma, according to a statement posted on its website on Tuesday.
On June 21, Putin called on Russia's lower house to grant amnesties before the summer recess for those with first-time convictions for economic crimes who have either reimbursed the damages or have expressed a willingness to do so.
The State Duma will meet for the last time on July 5 before leaving for their summer recess on July 14.
Yevgenia Chugunova, press secretary of State Duma Speaker Sergei Naryshkin, said they have received draft resolutions on the amnesty and on the procedure for implementing the resolution on the amnesty.
Naryshkin has sent the two drafts to Pavel Krasheninnikov, chair of the State Duma Committee on Civil, Criminal, Arbitral and Procedural Legislation, as well as to all parties represented in the lower house and to the State Duma Council, Chugunova said.
The idea of a financial amnesty has been discussed for the past two years and was championed by Titov, who proposed it as a means to improve the business climate.
In particular, he pleaded with the Duma to release 111,000 businesspeople from prison, arguing that many of them had been pressured into breaking the law by flawed and overly strict financial regulations.