The former business partner of oil tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky has had his prison sentence cut by more than three years.
The ruling, made by a court in northern Russia following an appeal, means Platon Lebedev will be freed next March – if it is not challenged by state prosecutors.
He and Khodorkovsky were both convicted of theft and money laundering, in a case described by lawyers as politically motivated.
Like Khodorkovsky, Lebedev says his 13-year sentence was particularly severe because the two men had fallen out with President Vladimir Putin’s Kremlin.
The court ruling is not expected to affect Khodorkovsky, the former chief of the oil company Yukos and once Russia’s richest man, because he had not filed a similar appeal against his own 13-year sentence.
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