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Prosecutor’s Office asks to mitigate penalty for Khodorkovsky and Lebedev

January 23, 2014, 11:10 UTC+3
“We believe that actions of Khodorkovsky and Lebedev regarding illegal acquisition of NIUIF fall within indicia of article ‘Fraud in business’,” the prosecutor said
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© AP Photo/Michael Sohn

MOSCOW, January 23. /ITAR-TASS/. Prosecutor’s Office asks to mitigate the penalty for Mikhail Khodorkovsky and Platon Lebedev, a representative of the Prosecutor’s Office stated at a Supreme Court session on Thursday.

“We believe that actions of Khodorkovsky and Lebedev regarding illegal acquisition of NIUIF (Research Institute for fertilizers and insectofungicides — Itar-Tass) fall within indicia of article ‘Fraud in business’,” the prosecutor said, noting that as the statute of limitation has expired the defendants must be set free of penalty under this charge.

Upon this, the Prosecutor General’s Office of the Russian Federation asked to mitigate the penalty for Khodorkovsky and Lebedev regarding accumulative sentencing of Khamovnichesky and Meshchansky district courts of Moscow.

Mikhail Khodorkovsky was supposed to be set free from prison in August 2014. In late December, he was pardoned by the president and December 20, 2013 released from prison. In his petition for pardoning, the former Yukos head pleaded not guilty.

 

Prosecution: for the rest, sentences are justified

As for the rest, the state prosecution considers the sentences justified and substantiate. According to the prosecutor, the defendants’ guilt has been established by evidence gathered in the course of investigation. The criminal cases were reviewed thoroughly and fairly. The state prosecutor also considers correct recovery of damage directly from the defendants, since they were not employees of the enterprise, but its managers. Recovery of damage from an almost non-existing enterprise, as the prosecutor noted, could cause damage to the state.

Speaking about the ruling of the European Court, the state prosecutor noted that “violation by the court of the immediacy principle does not speak for the illegality of the ruling”. In addition, he said that there were serious reasons to keep Khodorkovsky and Lebedev in custody.

Meanwhile, the attorneys ask to abolish sentences of Khamovnichesky and Meshchansky courts as unlawful and groundless.

 

YUKOS Case

Two criminal cases were investigated against YUKOS ex-CEO Mikhail Khodorkovsky and former MENATEP CEO Platon Lebedev. In the first criminal case Meshchansky court in Moscow sentenced them to nine years in prison for fraud and tax evasion in May 2005. Later Moscow city court commuted the sentence to them to eight years.

In the second criminal case Khamovnichesky court in Moscow found the defendants guilty under several articles of Russia’s penal code for fraud and money laundering on December 30, 2010 and sentenced them to 14 years in prison with due account of the term in prison handed down on them in the first court verdict.

Later the presidium of Moscow city court mitigated the sentence to 11 years in prison, the Supreme Court commuted it for another two months. Finally, Lebedev is to be released from prison in May 2014, Khodorkovsky was to be set free in August 2014. However, the Russian president pardoned Khodorkovsky and he was set free on December 20, 2013.

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