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MOSCOW, December 09. /ITAR-TASS/. In connection with a broad amnesty timed to mark the 20th anniversary of the Russian Constitution, newspapers pay close attention to prospects for the release of former CEO of YUKOS oil company, Mikhail Khodorkovsky.
Late last week, Russia’s Deputy Prosecutor General Alexander Zvyagintsev said several new criminal cases had been launched against Khodorkovsky, the Novye Izvestia daily writes. Thus, Khodorkovsky who is to emerge from jail in August 2014 will not fall under this amnesty, Zvyagintsev believes. Moreover, several new criminal cases are being investigated, in which the oligarch in disfavor is accused of laundering 10 billion dollars abroad, he said. And these cases “have good judicial prospects”, Zvyagintsev noted.
Ten billion dollars were allegedly intended for the change of the constitutional system in Russia, a source of the RBC Daily says.
Khodorkovsky’s lawyers Vadim Klyuvgant and Yelena Lukyanova know nothing about new probes. Besides, they say these cases can have no future as the statute of limitations on the money laundering article is ten years. However, Khodorkovsky has spent these ten years behind bars, and thus he could not have laundered any billions within that period of time.
Russian Human Rights Ombudsman Vladimir Lukin has explained that the prison term Khodorkovsky currently serves does not fall under the amnesty in any case. “Three- five years, no more,” he specified. This means that if no new criminal cases are opened, Khodorkovsky and Platon Lebedev, also sentenced in the YUKOS case, will be set free no earlier than in 2014.
A source of the Nezavisimaya Gazeta daily close to the leadership of the Investigative Committee said Khodorkovsky could be charged with new, not economic crimes.
The RBC Daily notes referring to a partner of Koblev and Partners attorneys at law, Kirill Belsky, that mutiny and take-over could be imposed as a charge upon Khodorkovsky, and this time it will be an especially grave crime. “Allegedly, Khodorkovsky had plans to finance something of the kind,” Belsky said.
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