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MOSCOW, January 24. /ITAR-TASS World Service/. The Presidium of Russian Supreme Court has reduced Platon Lebedev's sentence to the already served term — from ten years and ten months to ten years, six months and 22 days. This means Lebedev already on Thursday became free. However, the Russian justice did not revoke the ruling to enforce payment of 17.4 billion rubles, despite the decision of the European Court of Human Rights.
The court on Thursday corrected the sentences for former YUKOS head Mikhail Khodorkovsky and former MENATEP head Platon Lebedev and ruled that the holding of the ex-MENATEP head in custody in 2004-2005 was unlawful, the Novye Izvestia writes.
Khodorkovsky's attorney Vadim Klyuvgant described the court ruling as humane, but unjust, the Vedomosti notes. The defense of Khodorkovsky and Lebedev insisted on the complete revocation of the sentences for both cases and the termination of the proceedings in connection with exonerating circumstances.
The billions "hanging" over Khodorkovsky and Lebedev are a guarantee that Khodorkovsky will not claim YUKOS assets, and Rosneft head Igor Sechin can "sleep peacefully", and it is a kind of a "peg to hang a thing on" if something turns out wrong, professor at the research institute of the Higher School of Economics Yuly Nisnevich explained to the RBC daily. Khodorkovsky told the New Times journal that he had heard the "signal". "I've raised the question publicly, and they answered me publicly, refusing to obey the European court's decision. This means only that I am not welcomed in Russia."
The opposition is pleased with Lebedev's release, the Nezavisimaya Gazeta notes. Civic Platform has called the step of the Supreme Court "a new Russian trend": "Of course, we want to hope that there will be no political prisoners as a category in our country. We would like to hope that it is a new trend." Co-chairman of RPR-PARNAS Vladimir Ryzhkov saw in this an act of Russian authorities to remove the conflict between them and the civil society.
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