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Birthday Wishes

The following is a translation from Russian of an Interfax article about Mikhail Khodorkovsky’s 45th birthday today.

Chitan supporters of Khodorkovsky prepare to congratulate him with 45 years Chita. 25 June. INTERFAX-SIBIERA Supporters of ex-head of NK “YUKOS” Mikhail Khodorkovsky will celebrate on 26 June in Chita the day of his birth. As deputy head of the public committee for support of M.Khodorkovsky Marina Savateyeva reported to the agency “Interfax-Siberia”, a picket in support of Mikhail Khodorkovsky and Platon Lebedev will take place closer to the evening on Revolution Square. In her words, the organizers have purchased 200 greeting cards for M.Khodorkovsky. “Anyone who wishes will be able to congratulate Mikhail Khodorkovsky on his birthday. A part of the cards are already signed by representatives of the public committee”, she said. The organizers of the picket intend to pass all the congratulations on to M.Khodorkovsky.

On 26 June of the year 2007 supporters of M.Khodorkovsky gave a [fireworks] salute in honor of the day of his birth, after which the police delivered to the station two representatives of the firm for the conducting of the fireworks, a cameraman from one of the television channels, filming the event, and deputy head of the public committee for support of Khodorkovsky M.Savvateyeva.Head of YUKOS M.Khodorkovsky and manager of MFO “MENATEP” Platon Lebedev in the year 2005 were sentenced by the Meshchansky court of Moscow to 9 years of deprivation of liberty each, including for evasion from the payment of taxes, later the Moscow city court reduced the punishment for them to 8 years.At the end of the year 2006 M.Khodorkovsky and P.Lebedev were staged from the colony to the Chita investigative isolator in connection with the investigation of a new criminal case.Within the framework of the new criminal case, the Procuracy-General of the RF is charging M.Khodorkovsky and P.Lebedev with the legalization of 450 bln rubles and $7.5 bln in the period from 1998 through the year 2004.In August expires the 18-month – maximum – period of confinement of M.Khodorkovsky and P.Lebedev under guard in the isolator of Chita.Meanwhile, it became known on the eve that in the event of a change in Russian criminal legislation 50 thsd. inmates, including M.Khodorkovsky, may come out early to freedom. What is being spoken of is a proposal to introduce an amendment into article 72 of the Criminal Code of the RF, according to which one day of sojourn in preliminary detention in an investigative isolator must be equated to 1.5 days of being found in a general-regime colony or educative colony (for minors) and to two days – in a colony-settlement. The author of the bill is proceeding from the difference in conditions of detention – more harsh in an isolator and more humane – in correctional institutions.