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Russia releases ex-Khodorkovsky partner Lebedev

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Russia releases ex-Khodorkovsky partner Lebedev
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Platon Lebedev, the ex-business partner of Mikhail Khodorkovsky, has followed in the Kremlin critic’s footsteps by walking free after over 10 years in jail.

He had been due for release in May but Russia’s Supreme Court reduced his sentence to time served.

Also convicted of financial crimes, Khodorkovsky was pardoned last month by President Vladimir Putin.

The move was widely seen as an attempt by the Russian leader to improve his image before February’s Winter Olympics in Sochi.

Lebedev, whose arrest in 2003 foreshadowed Khodorkovsky’s months later, was the former Yukos oil company chief’s co-defendant in two trials that
Putin’s critics said were politically motivated.