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MOSCOW, January 23./ITAR-TASS/. Moskovsky Komsomolets daily publishes an article under the title “Khodorkovsky is pardoned, but he will not be rehabilitated!” that considers prospects of a trial over the affair of ex-CEO of YUKOS oil company Mikhail Khodorkovsky that will begin in the Supreme Court on Thursday.
“Mikhail Khodorkovsky will be sued again, but as his lawyers said, probably fairly for the first time,” the daily reported. “The court may quite probably change an article of Russia’s penal code and a term of punishment to the former oligarch, which is at large already for about a month.”
The daily noted that the Supreme Court will try two supervisory appeals. The first one was lodged according to the court verdict of the European Court of Human Rights, which had found several errors that Russian legal authorities had made in the Khodorkovsky affair. Another supervisory appeal was filed by Khodorkovsky’s lawyers in the so-called second criminal case against him. This is the court verdict passed by Khamovnichesky court in Moscow in December 2010. Then the former YUKOS chief executive was sentenced to 14 years in prison on accusation of theft of oil extracted by the company and legalisation of revenues from oil sales. Lawyers have appealed this court verdict for a long time and have appealed it even in the Supreme Court, but in vain.
After the denial the lawyers used their right of last resort and addressed directly to Chairman of the Supreme Court Vyacheslav Lebedev, the newspaper recalled. He has immediately passed the ruling, cancelling the verdict by a judge of the Supreme Court and instituted review proceedings. By the way, Khodorkovsky turned to Lebedev personally, not through his lawyers in the first criminal case against him. Then Lebedev obliged Moscow city court to open review proceeding and repair the legal errors made before.
“It happens that from the very beginning the chairman of the Supreme Court was the only legal official, who found the verdicts against Khodorkovsky incorrect to put it mildly?” Moskovsky Komsomolets daily contemplates. “So, why he did not decide to review the affair, directly participating in it before? Experts explain that all procedures should be observed. This is set in the law.”
“First, the accusations against Khodorkovsky could have been changed,” experts of the daily suggest. “For instance, it is acknowledged that his crimes belong to the sphere of entrepreneurship. So, the article of Russia’s penal code for theft is replaced with the criminal article for illegal business. Then it turns out that he was imprisoned twice the term that he should have spent according to the law. But what can follow this? Good news that he will not have to pay a multibillion fine. Bad news that despite possible unlawfulness of the verdict he cannot be rehabilitated. All this happened because he had admitted his guilt by the fact of asking the president for pardon,” experts said.
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