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Yukos ex-CEO Khodorkovsky indirectly admitted guilt ahead of pardon — Putin

The president said the former oil mogul did that in a letter

NOVO-OGARYOVO, December 10. /TASS/. Russian President Vladimir Putin said that former CEO of Yukos oil company Mikhail Khodorkovsky indirectly admitted his guilt, particularly in a letter to the Russian leader.

On Thursday, journalist Yekaterina Vinokurova, one of the participants in the Presidential Council for Civil Society and Human Rights' meeting with Putin, drew the president's attention to the fact that pardons are barely used in Russia now. According to her, convicts are often refused pardon because they do not plead guilty even though there is no such provision in the law. Putin noted, in turn, "pardon stipulates that the person is convicted." "How else to pardon?" the president asked. "To be fair, I just don’t remember exactly, but I think that it is in the law that a person should plead guilty. Otherwise, if they don’t admit guilt, how can they be pardoned?"

In response to the comment that Khodorkovsky, who did not admit his guilt, was pardoned, Putin said, "He did indirectly." "In a letter to me, he pleaded [guilty] and asked to release him before his prison term ended because his mom was ill and died, and I did that, I pardoned him," Putin said. "So that he could speak to his mom."