The release of ex-Yukos CEO Mikhail Khodorkovsky would not threaten Russian society, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said on Wednesday at a news conference at the Skolkovo School of Management.
When asked whether the release of Khodorkovsky would pose a threat for the country, Medvedev said "The question is short and the answer is short: [the release of Khodorkovsky] poses no threat."
Khodorkovsky, 47, and his former business partner Platon Lebedev, 54, were told in December they would have to stay in jail until 2017 after being found guilty of embezzling from their Yukos and laundering the proceeds.
On Tuesday, Khodorkovsky and Lebedev sent a demand to the Russian Investigative Committee to launch a criminal case against Judge Viktor Danilkin, who extended their terms, Lebedev's lawyer Yelena Liptser said.
But the same day a Moscow court delayed until May 24 the hearing of an appeal lodged by the former oil tycoon.
In February, Natalia Vasilyeva, a former aide to Judge Danilkin said he was acting under orders from the Moscow City Court when he passed his verdict. Danilkin denied the allegations, describing them as slander.
Khodorkovsky is widely believed to be the subject of a political vendetta by Prime Minister Vladimir Putin for having funded opposition parties in the early 2000s.
Khodorkovsky and Lebedev have always maintained that the charges against them are trumped up.
SKOLKOVO, May 18 (RIA Novosti)