Khodorkovsky, Lebedev should not be in jail, deserve to be released on parole

Russian tycoon Mikhail Prokhorov and a new leader of the Right Cause party said Russian ex-tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky and his business partner Platon Lebedev should not be in jail and deserve a parole

Khodorkovsky and his business partner Platon Lebedev have been in prison since 2003 and were convicted of a second set of charges in December, extending their term to 2016.

“I personally believe that there is no reason for Khodorkovsky and Lebedev to stay in prison,” Prokhorov said. “They should exercise this right [on parole].”

Khodorkovsky and Lebedev’s lawyers already requested paroles for their clients but the Preobrazhensky Court in Moscow denied both requests.

Lebedev’s lawyers submitted on Friday a parole request with a court in the Arkhangelsk Region, where he is currently serving the rest of the sentence, the press center of the former Yukos oil company officials said on its website.

The two men have denied all charges against them, saying that they were revenge for Khodorkovsky’s funding of opposition parties during the presidency of Vladimir Putin, something the Russian authorities categorically deny.

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