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MOSCOW, April 3 (Itar-Tass) — On Monday the prosecutor-general’s office announced that it handed over to President Dmitry Medvedev an expert report on 30 criminal cases, including that of former Yukos chief Mikhail Khodorkovsky and his business partner Platon Lebedev. Experts question how much logic is in the prosecutor-general’s office checking itself. Meanwhile, the court rejected a compensation for Platon Lebedev, who claimed it for his illegal detention in custody.
Yesterday the head of state received the report checking over 30 criminal cases, which raised serious questions among human rights activists, the Nezavisimaya Gazeta daily reported. The newspaper recalled that earlier the head of state instructed the prosecutor-general’s office by April 1 to analyze the legality and validity of the courts’ verdicts against some Russian citizens, including Mikhail Khodorkovsky and Platon Lebedev. A month ago leaders of Russia’s non-registered parties and members of the human rights council asked the president to pay attention to the fact that Russia has political prisoners.
Meanwhile, the presidential human rights council did not rule out that after the inspection is over Khodorkovsky and Lebedev may be released. “Maybe, Medvedev will suddenly do such a good deed while serving the last month of his presidential term,” said Lyudmila Alexeyeva, human rights activist and a founding member of the Moscow Helsinki Watch Group.
Observers call for not waiting for mercy from the prosecutor-general’s office. “Mr. Chaika’s office signed the indictment on this case, while his subordinates represented it at the trial,” Maxim Dbar, a spokesman for Khodorkovsky’s legal team, said. “It turns out that the prosecutor-general’s office is directly interested in the results of this checkup. If they say that the verdict is illegal, it will happen that the prosecutor put his signature under the illegal indictment and then on the basis of this verdict he asked to give people real prison terms.”
Moscow’s Tverskoy court considered a claim by Platon Lebedev, who demanded a compensation for illegally being kept in prison from August to November 2010, RBK daily wrote. The court rejected to recover 4,500 euro in moral damage from the Finance Ministry that under the effective laws serves as a defendant in this case.
“We will obligatorily appeal against this decision, as we consider it illegal,” Lebedev’s lawyer Elena Liptser said noting that a declaration will be made public on April 6 and only then substantial comments can be made. During the court hearings a Finance Ministry official, Olga Kuznetsova, announced that a claimant provided no proof of his moral suffering to the court. Probably, this was the reason for the court’s decision.
On August 16, 2010, the judge of Moscow’s Khamovnichesky court, Viktor Danilkin, extended Lebedev’s detention in custody until November 17. Later the Supreme Court recognized this verdict as illegal and cancelled it.