Free ex-Yukos security service employee Pichugin immediately - Khodorkovsky
MOSCOW. Nov 8 (Interfax) - Former Yukos head Mikhail Khodorkovsky has insisted that former Yukos security service employee Alexei Pichugin be released from prison, as the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) has ruled that both of his convictions must be reviewed.
"Both sentences given to Alexei must be reviewed, as they 'violate his right to fair court proceedings.' But a court cannot be unfair, or otherwise it is not a court at all. Therefore, both sentences given to Pichugin must be immediately canceled," Khodorkovsky said in a statement on his website in response to the Russian Supreme Court's decision not to review Pichungin's case.
As there are no sentences imposed on Pichugin that are not subject to review, he must be "immediately freed," Khodorkovsky said.
Khodorkovsky argued that the Supreme Court's ruling violates the Russian Constitution and Russia's obligation to obey the ECHR's judgments.
Earlier on Wednesday, the presidium of the Russian Supreme Court ruled not to halt Pichugin's criminal prosecution and not to free him.
The ECHR ruled earlier that Pichugin should be paid 15,000 euros in compensation for the violation of his right to a fair trial (Clauses 1 and 2 of Article 6 of the European Convention on Human Rights). At his second trial, he was sentenced to life in prison.
At his first trial, Pichugin was sentenced to 20 years in prison. Pichugin has denied his guilt. He is serving time in a special security penitentiary.