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Putin critic Khodorkovsky due for early release

Putin critic Khodorkovsky due for early release
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In a surprise move a Russian court has reduced the jail term for a high profile former oil tycoon.

Mikhail Khodorkovsky, once Russia’s richest man could be set free in October 2014 reducing his 13-year sentence by two years.

The court cited legal changes in reducing the term.
A severe critic of Vladimir Putin, Khodorkovsky’s jailing was viewed as political by many abroad.

The former head of oil giant Yukos was convicted of fraud and tax evasion in 2005. His business partner, Platon Lebedev, has also had his sentence cut by two years.

However another Russian court has formally charged the leading opposition figure Alexei Navalny and his brother Oleg with fraud and money-laundering.

Alexei Navalny is a lawyer known for his campaigning against corruption. He spearheaded protests against the Kremlin a year ago after disputed parliamentary elections.