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Moscow court cuts sentences of ex-Yukos chief Khodorkovsky and partner; release set for 2014

The Moscow City Court has reduced the prison sentences of former oil tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky and his business partner by two years, which means they will be released in 2014.

Khodorkovsky and Platon Lebedev were arrested in 2003 and convicted in 2005 of evading taxes on the Yukos oil company. The case was widely seen as politically motivated after Khodorkovsky, then Russia's richest man, challenged the power of Vladimir Putin early in his presidency.

They were tried together again in a second case and convicted in 2010 of stealing oil from Yukos and laundering the proceeds.

The Moscow City Court said its decision Thursday to reduce their prison sentence from 13 to 11 years was based on a change in Russian laws on economic crimes.