Platon Lebedev Challenges Parole Law in Constitutional Court

Source: (info), 23/11/11

· The Courts  · Yukos affair

Platon Lebedev, ex-head of Menatep Bank, has challenged in the Constitutional Court the law that allows a request for parole to be rejected if a prisoner has not admitted their guilt, Interfax reports.

As Platon Lebedev’s lawyer Vladimir Krasnov explained to Interfax, the law “is interpreted by courts that lack independence as allowing them to reject requests for parole by prisoners who have not admitted their guilt, and indeed who continue to contest their convictions in procedures established by law.”

As points out, in December 2010 Moscow’s Khamovniki district court sentenced Mikhail Khodorkovsky and Platon Lebedev to 14 years in a general regime penal colony for “theft of oil” and money laundering. Taking into account the 8-year sentence they had been given in the first trial (for tax avoidance), Mikhail Khodorkovsky and Platon Lebedev, who have been held in detention since 2003, could be released in 2017. On 24 May 2011 Moscow City Court reduced the sentences for both men to 13 years. Now they will possibly be released in 2016.

At the end of May Mikhail Khodorkovsky and Platon Lebedev submitted requests for parole. They stressed that they had a right to parole since they have already served more than half of their sentences.

On 27 July a judge of the Velsk town court, Arkhangelsk region, denied a request for parole by Platon Lebedev. Platon Lebedev’s lawyers appealed against this decision. However, Arkhangelsk region court upheld the lower court’s decision. Lawyers acting for Platon Lebedev now intend to take the issue of parole for their client to the European court of Human Rights.