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The prosecutor proposed to commute the term in prison for the former Menatep CEO Platon Lebedev. The Velsky District Court in the Arkhangelsk Region tried an appeal of Lebedev’s lawyers to commute the term in prison over the amendments in the Criminal Code, which cut drastically the sentence for money laundering. In case of a positive ruling the businessman will be released in October 2014. Other convicts in the YUKOS case are released one after another. The Medvedev-initiated liberalization of the Criminal Code is being fulfilled, the lawyers stated.
The appeal for commuting the sentence to Platon Lebedev was filed in the Velsky District Court in the Arkhangelsk Region back in July. On Tuesday, during the merit court proceedings the lawyers demanded to release their client, taking into account the term in prison, which he had already served, the Kommersant daily reported. Under the verdict of the Khamovniki District Court the severest sentence of 8.5 years in prison was pronounced to him and Mikhail Khodorkovsky for money laundering of the revenues, which were gained for the sale of stolen oil. According to the amendments, which were approved at the initiative of the former President Dmitry Medvedev, the sentence under this article of the Criminal Code was commuted and the maximum term of 15 years in prison was reduced to seven years. Prosecutor Yevgeny Yarmoshko proposed to satisfy the appeal of the lawyers only partially. Using the same amendment, he proposed to commute the term in prison for Lebedev to 11 years and three months in prison. Meanwhile, taking into account the nature and the degree of public danger of the convict, the prosecutor did not support the demand of the lawyers to re-qualify Lebedev’s actions under other articles of the Criminal Code to reduce the term in prison and found the commuted sentence quite sufficient.
Lawyer Alexei Miroshnichenko noted that he is not surprised with the position of the prosecutor, the Novye Izvestia daily noted. “He could not ask not to satisfy our appeal, this would be insane,” Miroshnichenko stated. Before the Velsky District Court and the appellate instance turned down a release on parole for Lebedev. The lawyers of the former YUKOS CEO Mikhail Khodorkovsky will not file similar appeals in the court. “At first Khodorkovsky is planning to deal with the main criminal case against him at the presidium of the Moscow City Court, and then decide on our further actions,” the lawyers stated.
On Tuesday, the former YUKOS chief executive officer Alexei Kurtsin was released on parole from the penitentiary in the Ryazan Region under the verdict passed by the Ryazan Regional Court, the Vedomosti daily reported. His release on parole became possible thanks to the gradual humanization of the sentence under Article 174 (money laundering), from which the severest point 4 was dropped at first, and then the upper level of sentence was reduced from ten to seven years and the lower level of sentence was abolished, Kurtsin’s lawyer Roman Polovtsev explained.
The Medvedev amendments are really efficient, the former YUKOS lawyer Dmitry Gololobov, who is cited by the newspaper, said. He noted that thanks to them the terms in prison are commuted now for all convicts in the criminal cases related with YUKOS. Lebedev’s case is special, because this is also a verdict passed to Khodorkovsky, but the court and the prosecutor’s office will hardly do something in this case, as this is the law. In any case the YUKOS criminal case is about to enter the finish line, Gololobov noted, as the date for release of both convicts is getting closer.