Russia’s Ombudsman Appeals Khodorkovsky Judgment

MOSCOW, December 25 (RIA Novosti) – Russia’s human rights ombudsman has filed an appeal in a Moscow court over rulings that ordered former Yukos CEO Mikhail Khodorkovsky and his business partner Platon Lebedev to pay restitution for the same losses twice.

In the appeal, ombudsman Vladimir Lukin said that the two men were ordered to pay the money twice under two similar court rulings in 2005 and 2010.

One Moscow court ordered payment of back taxes and penalties totaling about 17 billion rubles ($550 million), while later a different court ordered payment of damages totaling 98 billion rubles ($3.18 billion), which included the earlier sum.

“As a result there is a double claim of damages in two different court cases,” the ombudsman’s office said in a statement released on Tuesday.

In 2005, Khodorkovsky, once the richest man in Russia, and Lebedev were sentenced to eight years in prison on fraud and tax evasion charges. In 2010, a Moscow district court convicted them on similar charges in a case widely seen by the Kremlin’s critics as politically motivated.

After the second conviction, the two were due to remain in prison until 2017. In a 2011 appeal, a Moscow City Court reduced their sentences by one year. Earlier this month the same court reduced their sentences by another 18 months, which will allow them walk free in 2014.


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