MOSCOW, December 25 (RIA Novosti) – Russia’s Supreme Court on Wednesday ordered a review of past cases against the country’s former richest man Mikhail Khodorkovsky, who received a presidential pardon last week after spending more than a decade in Russian jails.
The top court said that the first case on fraud and tax evasion charges against Khodorkovsky and his business partner Platon Lebedev, who were convicted in 2005, is to be reviewed following an earlier ruling by the European Court of Human Rights criticizing the Russian authorities.
The Russian court also ruled to overturn an earlier dismissal of the businessmen’s appeals on their convictions handed down by a Moscow court in 2010.
In July, the European Court of Human Rights ruled that the hearing of the businessmen’s case was unfair and carried out with numerous violations, though the Strasbourg-based court stopped short of saying that the prosecution was politically motivated.
The European court ordered Russia to pay Khodorkovsky $13,200 in damages for numerous violations of his rights during the high-profile trial.
Russia’s Supreme Court cited the European court’s ruling as a basis to renew legal proceedings in the case.
Khodorkovsky’s lawyer Vadim Klyuvgant cautiously welcomed Wednesday’s ruling, saying that no final decision had yet been made.
“Right now the Supreme Court material speaks about interim decisions and proceedings,” Klyuvgant told the RAPSI legal news agency.
Khodorkovsky, who once headed the dismantled Russian oil giant Yukos, walked free from a remote Russian penal colony last week and flew to Germany, months before the scheduled end of his second prison term.