Medvedev orders Khodorkovsky case probe

Last Updated: Monday, March 5, 2012 - 15:33

Moscow: Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has
ordered a review of the legality of conviction of jailed
anti-Putin tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky.

The prosecutor-General has been asked to conduct a review
by April 1 of convictions of 32 citizens including
Khodorkovsky and his business partner Platon Lebedev, Kremlin
said in a statement on Monday.

Khodorkovsky has been in jail in a penal colony on charges
of fraud and tax evasion since his arrest on a Siberian
airport runway in 2003, which his supporters claim was
punishment for funding the liberal opposition at a time when
Vladimir Putin was beginning to create a "vertical power
structure."

At the time of his arrest Khodorkovsky was one of Russia`s
richest man.

Khodorkovsky`s lawyer Yury Schmidt said he does not know
what to expect from Medvedev`s order.

"It could be a purely formal decision, an insignificant
one, or a signal that they have decided to close the
Khodorkovsky and Lebedev cases...to stop it causing troubles
for the authorities," Schmidt was quoted by RIA Novosti as
saying.

Schmidt also said it could be positive for his client if
Prime Minister Vladimir Putin signalled that a probe could be
started.

"If there is no (Putin`s) approval, Medvedev`s decision
will not lead to anything positive," he added.

PTI



First Published: Monday, March 5, 2012 - 15:33

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