Bloomberg Businessweek reports that Platon Lebedev has been released from jail after over 10 years in prison. Lebedev is the former business partner of Mikhail Khodorkovsky, the former CEO of the expropriated Yukos Oil Company.
Lebedev’s release comes only a month after Khodorkovsky himself was released, in a shock move by Russian President Vladimir Putin. Both businessmen were arrested in 2003 on tax evasion charges, widely seen as fabricated and politically-motivated. Khodorkovsky was known for his outspoken criticism of Putin in the early 2000s.
The Russian prison authorities confirmed that Lebedev was released late on Friday from jail in the northwest Akhangelsk region of Russia.
Although Lebedev’s plans are not yet known, Khodorkovsky has said that he will not return to Russia due to an outstanding tax claim that has still not been cancelled, and could prevent him from leaving the country again.
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