Putin: Khodorkovsky will be pardoned soon
Former Yukos head Mikhail Khodorkovsky has submitted a pardon petition, and a decree sanctioning his pardon will be signed in the near future, Russian President Vladimir Putin said.
"As concerns Khodorkovsky, I have said already that Mikhail Borisovich [Khodorkovsky] was supposed to write the relevant paper in line with the law, which he did not do, but just recently he wrote such a paper and addressed me with a pardon petition. He has spent more than 10 years in a penitentiary, this is a serious punishment, he refers to humanitarian circumstances, his mother is ill, and I think such a decision can be made, and a decree on pardoning him will be signed in the near future," Putin said at a press conference on Thursday.
Russian President also said he did not see considerable prospects in the so-called third "Yukos case."
"As to 'the third case,' I do not want to go into details but honestly speaking I, as a person watching this from the outside, I do not see considerable prospects in this regard," Putin said.
"I do not understand at all where the case is. I have heard that they talk about it but for now I do not see any threats for anyone there," the president said.
The duties of prosecutor's offices are "following all the movement," Putin said.
"It [the prosecutor's office] can see, or as it supposes, some law violations but I assure you that besides the prosecutor's office the Investigative Committee, which leads the case or does not lead, exists and the court exists. That is why I do not see special threats for someone there," Putin said.
Former Yukos CEO Mikhail Khodorkovsky was arrested in 2003. In May 2005 he was sentenced to nine years for fraud and tax evasion. Later the Moscow City Court cut the verdict to eight years. When the trial was close to completion, the information on the second case regarding Khodorkovsky emerged. In December 2010 Khodorkovsky was sentenced to 14 years for embezzling oil and laundering money received from its sale in the framework of the second case. In six months the Moscow City Court cut the verdict to 13 years. The prison term is calculated since 2003 - since the day Khodorkovsky was arrested over the "first Yukos case."
On August 6, 2012 the Supreme Court partially upheld the complaint filed by the defense of Khodorkovsky and his former business partner, former Menatep CEO Platon Lebedev and cut their sentences by two months. The Supreme Court refused to cut the verdict to the time already served and to release the suspects. The sentences changed of Khodorkovsky will end in August 2014 and of Lebedev in May 2014.
Several criminal cases, "which have good court prospects," are being investigated regarding Khodorkovsky, Russian Deputy Prosecutor General Alexander Zvyagintsev told Interfax on December 6, 2013.
Incidents of laundering money (over $10 billion) "embezzled by Khodorkovsky and others" are being investigated in the framework of the new criminal case, a source familiar with the matter told Interfax later.
According to the source, investigators also are probing possible usees of money laundered to change Russian law.