MOSCOW, February 18. /TASS/. Former Yukos oil giant head Mikhail Khodorkovsky’s business partner Platon Lebedev said on Wednesday at his first press conference after his release from prison he wanted to return to business.
"I’m going to engage in international activity and business, including business related to Russia," Lebedev said.
Lebedev who headed Menatep financial group and was a member of the management board of Russia’s once most powerful oil company Yukos before his imprisonment on fraud and tax evasion charges said he had no plans to engage in public activity together with his former business partner Khodorkovsky.
"As for the activity carried out by Mikhail Khodorkovsky, this is not my sphere, this is the activity of Open Russia [opposition movement]. I never participated in it and I’m not planning now," Lebedev said.
Lebedev who was ranked 427th in the Forbes List of the Wealthiest People with a fortune of $1 billion was detained on July 2, 2003 and sentenced to nine years in prison in 2005 on the charges of embezzlement and tax evasion in the Yukos case.
While serving his prison term, Lebedev was found guilty of embezzlement and money laundering in a second criminal case in December 2010 and sentenced to 14 years in prison, with account taken of the jail term he had served.
Lebedev was released in January 2014 after Russia’s Supreme Court reduced his imprisonment to the term he had actually served.