International Bar Association Welcomes Khodorkovsky Pardon after Unfair Trial and Calls for Release of Lebedev

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platon lebedev lawfuelThe International Bar Association is calling for the release of Platon Lebedev, donvicted of tax offences in 2005 and sentenced to nine year’s prison.  Lebedev is the business partner to the pardoned Mikhail Khodorkovsky.

The press release from the International Bar Association’s Human Rights Institute is below:
The International Bar Association’s Human Rights Institute (IBAHRI) welcomes the pardon of Mikhail Khodorkovsky in light of its 2011 trial observation report, which found that proceedings did not meet international fair trial standards. Further, the IBAHRI calls for the immediate release of his business partner, Platon Lebedev.

The IBAHRI was the only organisation to retain a full-time observer in Moscow, Russia, for the duration of the Khodorkovsky and Lebedev trial, conducted between March 2009 and December 2010. The IBAHRI’s 2011 trial observation report was highly critical of the prosecution and concluded that the trial’s processes were incapable of producing the clear proof of theft or embezzlement required for a sound conviction.

Dr Phillip Tahmindjis AM, IBAHRI Director said ‘The IBAHRI report on the Khodorkovsky trial highlighted multiple errors of due process, lack of daily courtroom protocols, the continual amending of indictments throughout the course of the trial, and a lack of “equality of arms”. In light of this, the IBAHRI strongly welcomes the pardon granted to Mr Khodorkovsky and calls for the release of Mr Lebedev. Furthermore, the IBAHRI urges Russia to ensure that fair trial rights – protected under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, to which Russia is a party – are respected in all criminal trials.’

Mr Khodorkovsky, former Yukos Chief Executive Officer, and his business partner, Mr Lebedev, were convicted of stealing approximately two thirds of the total petroleum output of Yukos and of laundering the proceeds in excess of US$16bn. Mr Khodorkovsky was granted a presidential pardon on 20 December 2013, on ‘principles of humanity’ because his mother is ill. Mr Lebedev, whose sentence is due to end in May 2014, has not been granted a pardon and remains in prison.

Click here to download The Khodorkovsky trial: A report on the observation of the criminal trial of Mikhail Borisovich Khodorkovsky and Platon Leonidovich Lebedev, March 2009 to December 2010.


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