Prosecutor urges no reduction in sentence

MOSCOW, May 24 (UPI) -- A Russian prosecutor said Tuesday there are no grounds for reducing the jail sentences given former oil tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky and his business partner.

Khodorkovsky and Platon Lebedev are appealing their second conviction of stealing oil from their former firm, Yukos, the official Russian news agency RIA Novosti reported.


The two were sentenced to an additional prison time in December for embezzlement and money-laundering at a trial that was widely viewed as politically motivated.

The additional time added up to a sentence of 13.5 years plus six months.

The two men have been in custody since 2003.

Khodorkovsky told the three-judge panel hearing their appeal that the sentence needs to be changed.

"It's impossible to rectify this sentence," he said. "Any cosmetic changes will look foolish."

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