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ARKHAGELSK, January 11 (Itar-Tass) — The Velsk district court in the Arkhangelsk Region on January 23 will consider the case to reduce the jail term forformer MENATEP company head Platon Lebedev, his attorney Larisa Vazerkina told Itar-Tass on Friday.
It is unclear yet whether the meeting will be just a formal procedure, when judge Sergei Peskishev discontinues the proceedings, since the board of the Moscow city court on December 20 already decided to bring the sentences into conformity with the new law, she said. "If the judge gives the floor to the defence, we'll again insist on immediate release of Lebedev," she noted.
Vazerkina said that the attorneys and the Velsk court did not have the text of the Moscow court's ruling.
The panel of judges of the Arkhangelsk regional court on December 14 for the second time overturned the first instance court's decision as very mild and returned the case back to Velsk for new consideration by other judges.
The court meeting will be held in Velsk after the Moscow city court board on December 20 reduced the imprisonment term for ex-head of the YUKOS company Mikhail Khodorkovsky and his business partner Lebedev from 13 to eleven years, in connection with the mitigation of a number of Russian Criminal Code articles.
Commenting on the judicial collision, press secretary of the regional court Ksenia Solovyova told Itar-Tass that the Velsk court had the right to dismiss the case, since the decision to commute Lebedev's sentence was already taken by the Moscow city court.
The convict's attorney Vazerkina said that they would defend his rights in the Velsk court and insist on Supreme Court reconsideration of the Moscow court's ruling, since it did not took into consideration the principle of sentence proportionality. The attorneys insist on reducing the imprisonment term to the factually served period.
On December 30, 2010, Moscow's Khamovniki district court declared Khodorkovsky and Lebedev guilty on charges of embezzlement and legalization of illegally received money and sentenced them to 14 years. In May 2011, the term was reduced by one year. With the sentence pronounced in 2005 taken into account, the term of the ex-heads of YUKOS and MENATEP must expire in 2016.
On August 8, 2012, the Velsk district court commuted Lebedev's term to nine years and eight months in connection with the new version of the Criminal Code article on money laundering. However, on September 21, the Arkhangelsk regional court's panel of judges overturned the Velsk court's ruling.
On November 1, the Velsk court again reduced Lebedev's term to ten years, but the regional court on December 14 for the second time turned down the commutation.
The board of the Moscow city court on December 20 reduced the term for Khodorkovsky and Lebedev to eleven years. Thus, Lebedev is expected to be released in August 2014 and Khodorkovsky in October 2014.
Lebedev serves his sentence in a prison in the city of Velsk, the Arkhangelsk Region.