Thousands of jailed Russian businessmen may soon walk out thanks to a proposed economic amnesty, though Russian president calls that idea "raw". It is still unclear whether it would cover jailed Yukos head Mikhail Khodorkovsky.
The proposal for an amnesty was pitched earlier this month by Russia’s business ombudsman Boris Titov. A revised proposal will be drafted within three to four weeks. As a bill it would cover about half of 13,600 people currently serving prison terms for economic crimes.
At his recent meeting with business society, Russian president Vladimir Putin called the idea about amnesty "raw" and proposed to take the final decision after discussions of the matter with experts and Prosecutor General's Office. President made no demand to exclude Khodorkovsky and Lebedev from the amnesty, but it is possible that they would be dropped from the amnesty bill on technicalities.
Russian business community insists that economic charges are routinely abused by corrupt law enforcement officials who either act on behalf of defendants’ rivals or simply seek to extort money from victims.
Author: Julia Alieva