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  Saturday, July 20, 2019
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Outgoing Russian President Vladimir Putin did not rule out Saturday
Outgoing Russian President Vladimir Putin did not rule out Saturday that jailed ex-Yukos CEO Mikhail Khodorkovsky could be pardoned by president-elect Dmitry Medvedev.

When asked by a German journalist at a press conference after his meeting with Chancellor Angela Merkel whether Khodorkovsky could be pardoned under Medvedev, Putin said: "In line with the law, this procedure is in the competence of the head of state," he said.

Khodorkovsky, the founder of what was once Russia's largest oil producer, is serving an eight-year term for fraud and tax evasion in Siberia. New embezzlement charges have been brought against him recently.

The former Yukos CEO has repeatedly maintained his innocence, saying the case against him is political.

Medvedev won just over 70% of the vote in last Sunday's presidential elections. He is to be inaugurated as Russia's new president on May 7.

Yukos collapsed after claims of tax evasion in 2004 which led to the company being broken up and sold off to meet creditor claims. The bulk of its assets were bought through liquidation auctions by government-controlled oil company Rosneft. Yukos was officially dissolved in 2007.


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