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Lebedev Seeks Parole – No Plea

Platon Lebedev, jailed in the Yukos case along with Mikhail Khodorkovsky, has challenged in the Constitutional Court a law that requires convicts to plead guilty to qualify for parole.

Lebedev's parole request was thrown out this summer by a court in the republic of Karelia, where he is serving his sentence. The judge cited his lack of repentance among the reasons for the verdict.

But the jailed businessman has appealed the legal provision on which the ruling was based, reported Wednesday.

The demand for a guilty plea goes against the constitutional right to not testify against oneself, Lebedev said in his complaint.

The Constitutional Court has until late February to decide on whether to proceed with the case, a court spokesman told Interfax on Wednesday. He did not elaborate.

Lebedev and Khodorkovsky are jailed until 2016 on economic charges. Their supporters claim that the charges were fabricated on the order of Prime Minister Vladimir Putin as revenge for his political and business clashes with Khodorkovsky.

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