On July 27, 2011, a Russian court denied parole for former Yukos oil executive Platon Lebedev. Lebedev, along with his former business partner Mikhail Khodorkovsky, was convicted on charges related to embezzling more than $27 billion from Yukos oil. In addition to related convictions, the pair were both sentenced to a total of 14 years in prison. Many criticized the verdicts against Lebedev and Khodorkovsky for improper procedure and being politically motivated. Khodorkovsky unsuccessfully challenged his own conviction, but insists that he was prosecuted because he supported political efforts opposing Prime Minister Vladmir Putin. Following the accusations of judicial misconduct, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev ordered an inquiry into these convictions.
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Learn more about Platon Lebedev and Mikhail Khodorkovsky from the JURIST news archive, and read commentary on their convictions from JURIST Guest Columnist Olga Khvostunova in Hotline.