Court rejects prison documents in Lebedev parole hearing

The court considering parole for Platon Lebedev, a business partner of jailed Yukos tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky, rejected documents on Wednesday showing that he had infringed prison rules.

The Velsk prison colony in the Archangelsk region in the north-west of Russia, where Lebedev is serving his second, six-year sentence, said he had lost his overalls and was disrespectful to prison officials.

But the judge rejected the documents, saying they were improperly filed.

“The document presented by the colony was for some reason legalized by the prosecutor’s office. How is this supposed to be understood, is it an inseparable tandem?” asked Lebedev’s lawyer Konstantin Rivkin.

Lebedev told the judge the colony had slandered him.

The court also rejected a 2003 financial report by Group Menatep Ltd presented by the prosecutor’s office. Lebedev headed MFO Menatep before his arrest.

Lebedev and his partner Khodorkovsky, once Russia’s richest man, were sentenced to stay in jail until 2016 in a second trial in December. They received their first sentence in 2005, after Khodorkovsky fell foul of the Kremlin under then President Vladimir Putin.

Khodorkovsky requested parole last month but the court refused to consider it. Putin, now prime minister, likened him to American gangster Al Capone at the time and said “a thief should remain in jail.”


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