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MOSCOW, December 21 (Itar-Tass) — The expert examination of the "second Yukos case" has found fundamental violations during its review by court, according to the report by the Council for civil society development and human rights (SPCh), under the Russian president. The report followed the Council's probe into the criminal case against former Yukos CEO Mikhail Khodorkovsky and former Menatep director Platon Lebedev.
The initiative to carry out an expert examination was voiced by President Dmitry Medvedev at a meeting with Council members in Yekaterinburg, Sverdlovsk region, on February 1. At that time, the head of state noted he "would be grateful if the expert community tried and prepared a legal analysis of the court's ruling."
The document notes that when conducting the expert examination, the Council refused to issue a political opinion about the case.
At the same time, the SPCh guarantees that there is no conflict of interests between the experts. The probe has been conducted for free, the SPCh said. It promised confidentiality of the experts' work, and independence in determining the research guidelines.
"The Council has invited a group of noted Russian scientists and expert from different countries, such as the USA, Germany, and the Netherlands. A pool of experts thus formed prepared their conclusions from April through November," SPCh chairman Mikhail Fedotov earlier told Tass.
The first copy of the 427-volume report will be sent to the Russian president later on Wednesday.
On December 30, 2010, Moscow's Khamovniki court sentenced former Yukos CEO Mikhail Khodorkovsky his business associate, former MENTEP director Platon Lebedev to 14 years in prison for theft of oil and money laundering. Lebedev, and Khodorkovsky and their lawyers appealed the ruling.
On May 24, 2011, the Moscow City Court reduced their sentence by one year. The verdict became effective.
Khodorkovsky and Lebedev's jail terms expire in 2016.