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Khodorkovsky released from prison, leaves penitentiary

December 20, 2013, 15:25 UTC+3 MOSCOW

Russia’s president has signed a decree on pardoning former Yukos CEO

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© ITAR-TASS/Stanislav Krasilnikov

MOSCOW, December 20. /ITAR-TASS/. Former CEO of the Russian oil company YUKOS Mikhail Khodorkovsky is released from prison on Friday.

“We received a report from the head of the prison that Khodorkovsky is set free and leaves the prison,” Khodorkovsky’s lawyer Vadim Klyuvgant told Itar-Tass. The attorney abstained from further comments.

Khodorkovsky has spent behind bars more than 10 years — 3709 days. He was supposed to be freed from prison, located in Karelia’s Segezha, in 8 months, in August 2014.

The Kremlin’s press service reported on Friday that Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a decree to pardon former Yukos CEO Mikhail Khodorkovsky, freeing him from penalty.


Khodorkovsky family filled with joy

Entire family of former CEO of the oil corporation YUKOS, Mikhail Khodorkovsky, is filled with joy over his release from prison where he has spent more than ten years but family members are totally unaware of how the release took place and where he is now, Mikhail’s father Boris Khodorkovsky said.

“We’re really filled with joy and are looking forward to seeing our son,” he said adding he still had no idea about how Mikhail had written a petition for pardon.

“We’ve read Mikhail has been released from the penal colony and has left its territory,” Boris Khodorkovsky said. “We trust the information and feel joyful.”


President pledges to sign decree after major press conference

December 19, after his ‘grand’ press conference, Putin said: “he spent over 10 years behind bars, I believe that a decision has to be made (to pardon him).”

“This petition will soon be granted,” he promised.

Putin reminded that convicted have a legal right to submit a petition for a pardon. “He (Khodorkovskiy) has not done it, but very recently a pardon request has been made (on his behalf),” the president said.

According to the president, Khodorkovsky referred to humanitarian circumstances in his letter, such as his mother's illness.


Market’s reaction

Russia’s stock market has reacted by a growth to the decision of Russia’s President Vladimir Putin to pardon Mikhail Khodorkovsky.

The MICEX index jumped from 1,497.8 to 1,507.7.


Khodorkovsky Case

In May 2005, Moscow’s Meshchansky Court found Lebedev and Khodorkovsky guilty under several articles of the Russian Criminal Code, including fraud and tax evasion and sentenced them to nine years in prison. Later the Moscow City Court reduced the term to eight years.

On December 30, 2010, the Khamovnichesky District Court sentenced Lebedev and Khodorkovsky to 14 years in prison for oil theft and money laundering in a second criminal case.

Their sentences were later reduced to 11 years by the Moscow City Court presidium, while the Supreme Court cut the prison terms further by two months.

Lebedev is to be set free in May 2014 and Khodorkovsky in August 2014.

Putin told the Thursday news conference that he didn't know the details of the third case against Yukos. He said he did not see any prospects in this sense and that he did not understand that kind of case that might be. "I don't see anything dangerous for anyone there,” he said.

Well-informed sources later told Itar-Tass Tass that Khodorkovsky and Lebedev were not suspects in the so-called third case against Yukos.

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