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Khodorkovsky admits his guilt by filing petition for pardon, say Russian experts

December 20, 2013, 0:00 updated at: December 20, 2013, 2:26 UTC+3 MOSCOW
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MOSCOW, December 19 /ITAR-TASS/. Former CEO of the defunct oil corporation YUKOS, Mikhail Khodorkovsky, who has spent more than ten years in jail, has admitted his guilt by filing a petition for pardon, political analysts polled by Itar-Tass said Thursday.

“He spent more than ten years jail and that’s a long term and I think a decision on pardoning him could be taken,” Russian President Vladimir Putin told reporters Thursday. “His petition will be entertained soon.”

“Putin has been told previously, too, that he should pardon Mikhail Khodorkovsky but anyone can be pardoned only upon recognition of guilt,” Dr. Oleg Matveichev of the Higher School of Economics told Itar-Tass. “Generally speaking, a person can’t be pardoned if he doesn’t find any guilt on his part.”

“It looks like Khodorkovsky has recognized some kind of guilt now and I don’t see any other possible option,” he said. “It’s not ruled out something happened in his life that forced him to recognize his guilt and to file an appropriate petition.”

“When a petition like this one is filed, it would be too inhumane to turn it down because he /Khodorkovsky/ isn’t a maniac or a rapist and he has spent quite a number of years in jail,” Dr. Matveichev said.

Dr. Leonid Polyakov, the chief of the department of general political studies at the Higher School of Economics agreed with his colleague. “I think Mikhail Khodorkovsky recognizes some guilt on his part de facto, whether he likes or not, but that’s the admission of guilt on his part.”

“The situation looks like the man felt moral obligations to a large enough circle of people who supported him but I think he developed awareness in the final run of becoming a hostage of the unspoken pledge to stand tall to the end and not to recognize his guilt, thus giving moral feedback that support group,” Dr. Polyakov said.

“I think Khodorkovsky realizes only too well he isn’t a Nelson Mandela and it would be much simpler and much more understandable from the poorly human point of view to ask for pardoning, and Vladimir Putin offered an absolutely appropriate reaction to his request,” he said.

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