Russian Stock Market Jumps On News Of Khodorkovsky Pardon By Putin

Russia's MICEX jumped almost 1% this morning on news that Vladimir Putin had asked for clemency in the jailing of vocal Kremlin critic, Yukos founder Mikhail Khodorkovsky. Khodorkovsky has been jailed since 2003 on a variety of tax-evasion, fraid and embezzlement charges though being among the nation's wealthiest men, the jailing was seen as politically-motivated (because of his political ambitions). The WSJ reports that Putin said this morning, "He asked for a pardon for humanitarian reasons, his mother is sick, and I believe that we can make a decision and will soon sign a decree to pardon him." The twist in this tale is that Khodorkovsky's people deny the pardon request, since Putin's spin would be the pardon request implies an admission of guilt...

 

 

Via WSJ,

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"Mikhail Khodorkovsky…recently wrote to me and asked me for a pardon. He has already been deprived of his liberty for more than 10 years. It is a severe punishment," Mr. Putin said. "He asked for a pardon for humanitarian reasons, his mother is sick, and I believe that we can make a decision and will soon sign a decree to pardon him."

 

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Mr. Khodorkovsky—a vocal Kremlin critic—and his business partner Platon Lebedev have been jailed since 2003 on a variety of tax-evasion, fraud and embezzlement charges.

 

Once among Russia's wealthiest people, the two men were imprisoned in a proceeding viewed by many as politically motivated because of Mr. Khodorkovsky's political ambitions. As the original sentences for fraud and tax evasion wound down, a second trial for embezzlement and money-laundering was held in 2010 that initially resulted in their prison terms being extended until late 2016.

 

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However, the plot thickens

Until the legal team can meet with Mikhail Khodorkovsky, all previously given statements by his lawyers regarding him asking for a pardon should be considered invalid.

Of course, the reason being that any pardon request by Khodorkovsky would imply an admission of guilt...