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Khodorkovsky, Navalny not eligible for economic amnesty

June 26, 2013, 16:54 UTC+3

Member of the presidential expert council for entrepreneurs' rights Andrei Nazarov pointed out that both oppositioners have criminal cases filed

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MOSCOW, June 26 (Itar-Tass) - Former YUKOS CEO Mikhail Khodorkovsky and Opposition activist Alexei Navalny are not eligible for economic amnesty, member of the presidential expert council for entrepreneurs' rights Andrei Nazarov told a news conference at Itar-Tass.

"There are three obstacles to Khodorkovsky's release from prison under amnesty: the first is that he should have only one criminal conviction, the second is that he should reimburse damage and the third is that there should be no cumulative crime," Nazarov said.

Khodorkovsky does not meet either of these conditions. "He has been accused under several /penal code/ articles. /His release/ is unlikely," he added.

In May 2005, former YUKOS CEO Mikhail Khodorkovsky was found guilty of fraud, misappropriation of property, tax evasion and other crimes and sentenced to nine years. In December 2010, he was found guilty of money laundering and sentenced to 14 years for cumulative crime, and the term he had served earlier was counted in the new sentence.

The penal code article under which Alexei Navalny is accused in the Kirovles case /misappropriation of property/ is not among the penal code articles to which the proposed amnesty will apply. "It doesn't apply to /Article/ 160," the expert said.

At a plenary meeting of the Petersburg economic forum Russian President Vladimir Putin approved a draft resolution of amnesty for entrepreneurs and recommended the parliament to approve it before the summer holiday.

According to the head of state, the amnesty will apply to those who committed economic crimes for the first time, reimbursed or agreed to reimburse the damage to the injured parties.

Their criminal convictions will be quashed, Putin said.

The persons sentenced for money counterfeiting, taking apartments from people and involvement in hostile takeovers are not eligible for amnesty, the president said.

The parliament will vote on the economic amnesty resolution on July 2.

The Communist and the Liberal Democratic Party factions said they would support the president's initiative, but LDPR leader Vladimir Zhirinovsky later announced the Party would vote against if the resolution applied to persons convicted for fraud.

Russia's business ombudsman Boris Titov, citing results of a recent opinion poll said 32 percent of Russians supported the amnesty, and 36 percent objected. The others were undecided.

More than 155,000 cases were opened under penal code articles on economic crimes in 2012, but just 35,000 went to courts. Titov expressed the hope that several dozen thousand people would be eligible for amnesty.

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