Thursday, December 19, 2013

Putin Says He Will Pardon Khodorkovsky

Russian President Vladimir Putin said Thursday that he will in the nearest future pardon jailed former Yukos owner Mikhail Khodorkovsky. Putin said Khodorkovsky appealed for clemency in a letter. “[Khodorkovsky] cites humanitarian reasons,” Putin told reporters after the end of his marathon four-hour press conference in Moscow. “A far as Khodorkovsky is concerned, I have already spoken about this, Mikhail Borisovich should in line with the law have written the necessary document, which he didn’t do, but just recently he wrote this document and addressed me with an appeal for clemency,” he said. Putin said Khodorkovsky had already spent 10 years in jail for a serious crime and that citing humanitarian concerns, notably his sick mother, he would take the decision on the pardon in the nearest time. “The order for the pardon will issued and the person will be freed,” he said. Khodorkovsky's legal team appeared confused by what has come as a fully unexpected development. "He never filed [an appeal for pardon], and we haven't had any recent information about anyone appealing on his behalf. We don't have this information, although we've received a number of pardon appeals on his behalf of other people over the years," said Vadim Klyuvgant, a lawyer for Khodorkovsky. Khodorkovsky and his business partner Platon Lebedev were jailed in 2005 and saw their sentences extended until August 2014 and May 2014, respectively, following a second trial on related charges in 2010. (video)

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