Russian prosecutor asks to reduce Khodorkovsky jail term - media

MOSCOW Thu Dec 20, 2012 5:18am EST

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MOSCOW Dec 20 (Reuters) - A Russian prosecutor requested on Thursday that oil tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky's jail sentence for multibillion-dollar theft and money laundering be reduced by almost two years, local news agencies reported.

Khodorkovsky is serving 13 years in a prison near the Arctic circle after a Russian court convicted him in 2010 in a case that Kremlin critics have described as politically motivated.

"I ask for a final punishment of 11 years and three months imprisonment for M. Khodorkovsky and P. Lebedev," Interfax reported the prosecutor as saying, referring to a former business partner of Khodorkovsky, Platon Lebedev.

Lebedev's defence lawyers had earlier persuaded a court to reduce his prison term by three years and four months, but a higher court struck down the ruling. The lower court then cut Lebedev's term by three years, only for the higher court to reject that decision too.

On both occasions, prosecutors agreed Lebedev's term should be cut, citing legal changes, but said he should still serve 11 years and three months.

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