MOSCOW, April 26 (Itar-Tass) — Russian President Dmitry Medvedev believes that Khodorkovsky cannot be pardoned without his appeal.
“The president cannot step away from the Constitution,” Medvedev said in an interview with the Russian television channels in reply to a question whether Mikhail Khodorkovsky can be pardoned.
Medvedev recalled that under the Constitution each convict can ask for pardon and can demand the review of the court verdict. The president admitted that the matter of pardon is important in view of mercy, but “it should be linked with the willpower of the convict.”
The president offered to consider a hypothetical situation, when the president pardons the convict at its own initiative that envisages the confession of the convict in the crime, while convict is seeking full rehabilitation. “It turns out that the president violated the wish of the person to seek full acquittal, so, he interfered in the process of acquittal,” he said.
Medvedev also explained the situation with the demands to the convict to plead guilty in order to ask for pardon. The president noted that the issue of pardon is stipulated in the Constitution, beyond the framework of which the president cannot go, then the demand of pleading guilty or not guilty is regulated under a presidential decree, from which the president can step away if necessary.