Khodorkovsky’s parole request may be considered by Karelian court

Jailed tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky’s request to be released on parole may be considered by a court in the city of Segezha, Tatyana Liminchuk, a spokeswoman for the Karelian prosecutor’s office, said on Friday.

Khodorkovsky, the former head of Yukos oil company convicted of embezzlement and tax fraud, was delivered to Penal Colony 7 near the town of Segezha in Russia’s northwestern Karelia region, a source in the penal system administration said earlier on Friday.

There has been no official confirmation that Khodorkovsky has been transferred to the city yet.

Liminchuk said that in line with the law, parole requests are considered by local courts.

“If he [Khodorkovsky] is really in Segezha, the request should be considered by the Segezha court,” she said.

Khodorkovsky’s return to a penal colony follows an appeal against his sentence and a second trial in Moscow.

He was sentenced to an additional six years on top of his initial eight year sentence by a Moscow court in December 2010, later reduced by one year. He is now due for release in 2016.

He served the initial part of his first sentence in Russia’s remote Chita region near China and Mongolia, 6,000 km from Moscow.

A law enforcement source said earlier on Friday that Khodorkovsky’s business partner Platon Lebedev, serving a 13-year sentence for oil embezzlement and money laundering, has arrived in Penal Colony 14 in the Arkhangelsk Region in northwestern Russia.

Khodorkovsky and Lebedev filed a parole request on May 27 but a Moscow court returned it citing a lack of certain documents.

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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