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Russian Court Annuls Khodorkovsky Partner’s Early 2013 Release

Sept. 21 (Bloomberg) -- A Russian court overturned a ruling to shorten the prison term of Platon Lebedev, former Yukos Oil Co. owner Mikhail Khodorkovsky’s business partner.

The Arkhangelsk regional court in northwest Russia ordered a fresh review of the request to cut his 13-year jail sentence because of a change in the criminal code, Khodorkovsky’s defense team said on its website today. The case will be sent back to a district court in the Arkhangelsk region city of Velsk, where Lebedev is imprisoned.

The Velsk court on Aug. 8 cut Lebedev’s jail term by term by three years and four months, which would have allowed him to be set free next March. Prosecutors appealed the decision.

Lebedev, 55, and his associate Khodorkovsky, once Russia’s richest man and chief executive officer of Yukos, were sentenced to eight-year terms for fraud and tax evasion in 2005 and convicted again on related charges in December 2010. Their sentences were extended to 13 years from their arrest in 2003. Khodorkovsky, 49, says he was targeted by President Vladimir Putin for financing opposition parties, an accusation the Kremlin denies.

To contact the reporter on this story: Henry Meyer in Moscow at hmeyer4@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Balazs Penz at bpenz@bloomberg.net

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