On Tuesday, August 6, Russia’s top court ruled to reduce the prison terms for the jailed former head of oil giant Yukos Mikhail Khodorkovsky and his former business partner by two months.
Considering their defense’s appeal for immediate release, Russia’s Supreme Court ruled to cut their sentences by two months to 10 years and 10 months. That means that Khodorkovsky will be released in August 2014 and his business partner Platon Lebedev - in May 2014.
Lebedev has already spent ten years and one month in jail, and Khodorkovsky has been behind bars for nine years and eight months, RAPSI legal news agency reported.
Their defense said the result of the process is not satisfying and they are going to appeal again for Khodorkovsky and Lebedev's immediate release.
The two businesmen were originally charged with fraud and tax evasion in 2004 and convicted the following year. Then, in a new case, a Moscow district court sentenced them to 14 years in prison on fraud and embezzlement charges in 2010. Many rights activists consider that charge to be politically motivated, as Khodorkovsky used to try his powers in opposition movement. Despite his confinement, Mikhail Khodorkovsky still remains an important political figure for many opposition activists.
In December 2012, Moscow City Court cut their sentences to 11 years, meaning they are due to be released in 2014.
Author: Julia Alieva