Several news outlets are reporting that a Russian court today has granted parole to the former Yukos lawyer, political prisoner, and mother of three Svetlana Bakhmina. Here is an excerpt from the Moscow Times:
The Preobrazhensky District Court granted parole to Bakhmina, who was serving a 6 1/2-year term being convicted in April 2006 on charges of embezzlement and tax evasion.
She is one of several senior Yukos officials to be jailed since the company came under fire in 2003. Her bid to be released has become a cause celebre among prominent liberals and has even been backed by Kremlin supporters.
Several members of the Public Chamber have called for her release, as has former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev.
Bakhmina had two release appeals rejected in May and September last year.
She applied for a presidential pardon on Oct. 20 but laterwithdrew her petition for unclear reasons. In November, she was movedfrom Mordovia to a maternity hospital in the Moscow region, where shegave birth to a daughter.
A friend of Bakhmina, Denis Silyutin, said she would leave Moscow’s Pretrial Detention Facility No. 1 on Tuesday evening.
“This evening her husband will pick her up at the detention facility,” Silyutin told Interfax.
“I think over the course of the next several days she will want totalk to the press,” Silyutin was quoted as saying. “She has afive-month old child.”