Jailed oil tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky asked Boris Titov, Russian President Vladimir Putin’s commissioner for business rights, to review a second court ruling that’s set to keep him in jail until 2017.
“After I read about your readiness to conduct a public examination of the verdict, I decided that was a good idea,” Khodorkovsky said in a letter published on his website today.
Putin, who was president when Khodorkovsky was charged with fraud and tax evasion, returned to the Kremlin in May after four years as prime minister with a pledge to propel Russia to 20th from 120th in the World Bank’s Doing Business ranking “in the nearest years.” Khodorkovsky is serving 13 years in prison for two separate convictions. He says he was targeted by Putin for financing opposition parties, an accusation the Kremlin denies.
In a letter to Khodorkovsky that was distributed to media by e-mail, Titov advised approaching Russia’s Business Against Corruption Center, calling it “a tool for working with entrepreneurs’ appeals concerning violations of their rights by the state.”
After his appointment in June, Titov said in an interview that he would be ready to have a public review of Khodorkovsky’s case after receiving a petition from the jailed tycoon. Titov also said that Russia would send a positive signal to investors by releasing the former businessman as part of an amnesty for people convicted of economic crimes.
Titov later retracted his words about the proposed amnesty, according to the Ekho Moskvy radio station. He wasn’t immediately available to comment when Bloomberg called.