Medvedev backs discussion of economic crimes amnesty

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said on Tuesday he would like to see the discussion of an amnesty for economic crimes suggested by the presidential civil and human rights council, the body’s head told journalists.

“The issue of amnesty for people who have been convicted of economic crimes was raised,” council head Mikhail Fedotov said after a meeting with Medvedev in the North Caucasus city of Nalchik.

He added that Medvedev had stated that while an amnesty was the “prerogative of the State Duma,” it would fall in line with state policies aimed at fostering a “favorable investment climate.”

The most famous Russian prisoner convicted of economic crimes is Mikhail Khodorkovsky, once the country’s richest man.

Khodorkovsky, the former head of the Yukos oil company, 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.

Khodorkovsky and his business partner Platon Lebedev lodged a parole request on May 27, but a Moscow court returned it, citing improperly filed paperwork.

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