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MOSCOW, December 27. /ITAR-TASS World Service/. On Thursday, the Russian Supreme Court placed on its website texts of the first criminal case against the oil company Yukos and rulings in the second case — on the institution of review proceedings. The chairman of the Supreme Court, Vyacheslav Lebedev, believes that a sentence in the first case against former Yukos chief Mikhail Khodorkovsky and his partner Platon Lebedev should be mitigated.
Such a decision had been taken following new obligations — the European Court of Human Rights’ rulings, Novye Izvestiya recalled. In July the court announced that significant failures, including the requirement to collect from the former top managers of Yukos 17 billion rubles as a compensation for unpaid taxes, were made in the first case. Now the presidium of Russia’s supreme judicial authority should gather and reconsider the sentence’s legality.
The second case against Yukos would be also reconsidered, the daily wrote. Moreover, following a decision of the Supreme Court chairman the review proceedings on appeals of Khodorkovsky and Lebedev’s lawyers against the second sentence pronounced by Moscow’s Khamovnichesky court in 2010 will be resumed. Vyacheslav Lebedev said inferior courts had not considered amendments to the Criminal Code. “There are enough grounds for reconsidering the criminal case by the Supreme Court’s presidium, as they imply a mitigated sentence,” the court’s chairman said.
Nezavisimaya Gazeta recalled that lawyers of Khodorkovsky and Lebedev had been calling for cancelation of accusations against their clients for a long time. Lawyers demand that the 2010 sentence and all subsequent verdicts in the Yukos second case should be reconsidered over absence of crime in the act.
Lawyer Vadim Klyuvgant in his conversation with the daily found it difficult to explain the Supreme Court’s position. “It is more or less clear with the first case against Yukos, there was the European Court of Human Rights’ ruling. The most evident circumstance from the Supreme Court’s today decisions is release of Platon Lebedev,” he said.
Vyacheslav Lebedev rebelled against verdicts of Moscow’s city court not for the first time; a source close to the Supreme Court’s top authorities was quoted by Nezavisimaya Gazeta as saying. Lebedev is a consistent man of law, therefore President Vladimir Putin highly appreciates him, the source says. “For the chairman of the Supreme Court letter and spirit of the law are more important than any corporate interests,” he said.
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