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Supreme Court Requests Materials for Review of Khodorkovsky Case

Correction appended

The Supreme Court has requested materials for a review of the criminal case against Yukos CEO Mikhail Khodorkovsky and his business partner, Platon Lebedev, after a complaint regarding the Moscow City Court's 2012 handling of an appeal that saw the men's sentences reduced by two years .

The decision for a review came after defense lawyers filed an appeal in February, saying that their clients' sentences in both their 2005 and 2010 trials were illegal and that the Moscow City Court overlooked discrepancies in court documents during the 2012 appeal, Kommersant reported Wednesday.

On Feb. 15, Supreme Court Judge Sergei Shmalenyuk requested that Moscow's Meshchansky and Khamovnichesky district courts, both of which handled earlier court proceedings in the Yukos trial, hand over the cases for review.

The Meshchansky District Court confirmed that it received such a request, but the Khamovnichesky District Court refused to comment, Kommersant said.

It was not clear why the mid-February development was only made public Wednesday.

"We hope that the Supreme Court, unlike the Moscow City Court, will pay attention to the violations in the case proceedings, particularly those in the Khamovnichesky court," Vladimir Krasnov, Lebedev's lawyer, said in comments carried by Kommersant.

Defense lawyers claim there were falsifications in court documents in the Moscow City Court's 2012 appeal, including one stating that oil companies belonging to Yukos didn't receive any profit from oil sales, despite the fact that the Khamovnichesky District Court issued a verdict saying a $3 billion profit was received.

The lawyers also said a Moscow City Court decision to reduce their sentences introduced new details that were not in the district courts' verdicts.

Citing these discrepancies, they asked the head of the Investigative Committee, Alexander Bastrykin, to open a criminal case against presidium members of the Moscow City Court on charges of forgery by an official.

Khodorkovsky and Lebedev were convicted of fraud and tax evasion in 2005 and in 2010 were sentenced for theft and embezzlement.

Khodorkovsky, 49, is now set for release on Oct. 25, 2014, and Lebedev three months earlier, on July 2, 2014.


*Due to an editing error, an earlier version of this article stated that the Supreme Court ordered a review of the case. It should have said the Supreme Court requested case materials for a possible review.

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