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Kremlin Rights Council Lobbies to Free Khodorkovsky

© RIA Novosti . Grigoriy Sisoev  / Go to the photo bankMikhail Khodorkovsky
Mikhail Khodorkovsky - Sputnik International
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The presidential human rights council will request the Kremlin to pardon 30 convicts in questionable cases; including former Yukos head Mikhail Khodorkovsky.

The presidential human rights council will request the Kremlin to pardon 30 convicts in questionable cases; including former Yukos head Mikhail Khodorkovsky.

The list of convicts proposed for pardon would be filed with either the outgoing president Dmitry Medvedev or his successor, to be determined at the elections in March, council member Valentin Gefter said on Thursday.

Among the parole hopefuls are Khodorkovsky’s former business partner Platon Lebedev, also jailed over the Yukos case, and opposition activist Taisia Osipova, imprisoned on drug charges that her supporters say are politically motivated.

The full list includes five scientists, 12 entrepreneurs, five alleged terrorists and eight civil activists, council representatives said at a press conference in Moscow, without elaborating.

The presidential human rights council is known for its independent stance but it has no legal authority and had its recommendations ignored in the past.

Supporters of Khodorkovsky and Lebedev, who have been jailed since 2003 on economic charges, insist their case was fabricated on the order of Prime Minister Vladimir Putin over their political disputes. Putin, who is running for presidency, said earlier he would “consider” Khodorkovsky’s request for parole, while his four rivals said they are willing to let the ex-tycoon leave prison.

 

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