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Khodorkovsky to Receive Compensation for Case Violations

Khodorkovsky spent almost a decade in prison before being released on Friday on a presidential amnesty.

Russia will pay Mikhail Khodorkovsky a 10,000 euro ($13,700) fine ordered by the European Court for Human Rights, but may try to get the money frozen under the original Russian verdict that had put the former tycoon in prison for a decade, officials said Friday.

The amount will be transferred as soon as officials receive Khodorkovsky's bank details, a spokesman for the Justice Ministry said, Interfax reported. 

But another official said that Moscow may immediately seek to get the funds frozen under the 2005 verdict that found Khodorkovsky guilty of fraud and tax evasion and ordered him and his business partner Platon Lebedev to pay 17 billion rubles ($521 million) in compensation.

"Any sum deposited to Mikhail Khodorkovsky's account may befrozen under the framework of collecting 17 billion rubles from him under the first case," an unidentified official said. 

The order would need to be approved by a court, he added.

The European Court of Human Rights ruled in July that the 2005 trial, the first of two cases against the former Yukos CEO, was marred by several rights violations, and also found that the decision compelling Khodorkovsky and Lebedev to pay the 17 billion rubles lacked sufficient legal grounding.

The Russian Supreme Court will reopen the books on the 2005 case against Yukos in January, RIA Novosti reported on Friday.

Chief justice Vyacheslav Lebedev said that the European Court's decision qualified as "new circumstances" for reopening the case. The Supreme Court will also review the second, 2010, guilty verdict.

Khodorkovsky was released last week on amnesty, days after Putin surprised friend and foe by announcing that Khodorkovsky would be set free "in the nearest future."

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