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Kasyanov on the Khodorkovsky Charges

yukos_bankruptcyfiles_2006.jpgKommersant is carrying two reports on the Mikhail Khodorkovsky charges today. The first article reports that the Investigative Committee has quickly completed a three-day preliminary investigation of the case. The second piece interviews former Prime Minister Mikhail Kasyanov, who offers his theory of the purpose of these recycled (it is incorrect to call them “new”) charges:

The new charges brought in against Mikhail Khodorkovsky are aimed at preventing the consideration of pardoning him, Russian People’s Democratic Union leader Mikhail Kasyanov made clear in the air of Echo of Moscow radio broadcaster. Kasyanov called new charges the demonstrative humiliation of the legislative system. Meanwhile, “some positive signals” in the Khodorkovsky case could have made applauding the people that “don’t come down to the depth of political process.” But Russia’s leadership will hardly go this far, Kasyanov was sure.

Once Yukos CEO Mikhail Khodorkovsky faced new charges June 30. There is practically nothing new in them, both Kasyanov and the lawyers of prisoner said, specifying that the accusations are based on the files used for the previous charges. Some experts insist that the real purpose of investigators is to correct errors made in the previous accusations.But the timing of new charges is interesting. A bill amending the Criminal Code was submitted to the State Duma in the last decade of June and its adoption would give the chance to Khodorkovsky to leave the prison in 2009 should he be acquitted under the second case that hasn’t reached the court yet.Under the amendments, a day in detention facility before the trial will be counted for a day and a half or two days depending on the type of the penal institution where the convict is sent under the verdict. The bill has the retroactive effect.Russia’s President Dmitry Medvedev announced June 5 that Mikhail Khodorkovsky may apply for the pardon similar to any other convict. This statement of the president prompted reporters to speculate about the possible changes in the destiny of Khodorkovsky and Platon Lebedev.