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Russia oil tycoon Khodorkovsky jail term trimmed by Moscow court

Russia oil tycoon Khodorkovsky jail term trimmed by Moscow court
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Russia’s Supreme Court has trimmed former oil tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky’s jail term by two months, meaning he should walk free by August 2014 instead of October.

The businessman spoke to the court in Moscow via video link from prison near the Arctic circle.

The court upheld his conviction in 2010 for money laundering and theft.

Khodorkovsky was first arrested ten years ago after falling out with Vladimir Putin.

Commenting on the reduced sentence, his lawyer Vladimir Krasnov said:

“If we use the word justice in this context, then I would say it was another mockery of justice. But it’s been carried out by our Supreme Court. The defendants were generously granted all of two months. Of course, two months in prison or two months of freedom do make a difference.”

Khodorkovsky’s business partner Platon Lebedev also had his sentence cut by two months.

In an earlier trial in 2005 the pair were convicted of fraud and tax evasion.

Last month the European Court of Human Rights criticised the trials but rejected claims that they were politically motivated.

Human rights groups are also concerned about opposition leader Alexei Navalny, who is appealing after being given a five-year jail term last month for theft.