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Russian Prison Gives Ex-Yukos Official 'Negative' Assessment

Platon Lebedev (right) with Mikhail Khodorkovsky in the dock during a court session in Moscow in May.
VELSK, Russia -- Officials at a labor camp in northwestern Russia have given a "negative assessment" of Platon Lebedev, a former associate of jailed former Russian oil tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky who is seeking release on parole, RFE/RL's Russian Service reports.

The district court in the city of Velsk was scheduled to begin hearings on July 26 into Lebedev's application for early release. Lebedev was transferred to the Velsk labor camp in the Arkhangelsk region from a detention center in Moscow last month.

Early release on parole is contingent primarily on a camp inmate receiving a "positive assessment" of his or her behavior.

Konstantin Mamedov, who heads the local publishing house Velsk-INFO, told RFE/RL on July 25 that the Velsk labor camp administration has sent a negative assessment of Lebedev to the Velsk District Court.

In December, Moscow's Khamovnichesky court found Lebedev and Khodorkovsky -- his former business partner at the oil giant Yukos -- guilty of stealing oil and laundering the proceeds. They were then each sentenced to 14 years in jail. The terms were later reduced by one year.

Read more in Russian here