Yesterday, the Federal Penitentiary Service (FPS) announced that Mikhail Khodorkovsky and Platon Lebedev were transferred from the Matrosskaya Tishina prison into the penitentiary of low security, where they going to spend eight years. The place of their incarceration most likely will become known today. The sources in FPS say that both prisoners will not be doing their time far away from Moscow because the General Prosecution Office is ready to come up with new charges. The attorneys of Khodorkovsky and Lebedev think the both their clients could still be in Matrosskaya Tishina.
It was not known until the very last day that inmates Khodorkovsky and Lebedev, sentenced to eight years in prison, are being readied for transfer. Moreover, the fact of their transfer to the prison labor camp was doubted even by the General Prosecution Office.
The head of the Matrosskaya Tishina Fikret Tagiev confirmed to Kommersant that he does not have anymore prisoners with names Khodorkovsky and Lebedev (they had to be transferred 10 days after the verdict was enforced and the temporary prison received the copy of the court’s decision). Tagiev suggested asking for further comments from the FPS of Moscow and Moscow Region.
“Honestly, I did not pay much attention to that,” Vladimir Davydov, head of the Main Department of FPS told Kommersant. “On Sunday we had large scheduled transfer – several dozen inmates were sent to their final destinations, where they will be doing their prison terms.”
Then, General Davydov asked to call back in five minutes and said that Khodorkovsky and Lebedev were among the transferred prisoners. “We did not make any exclusion for them,” the General reported. “They went through the same procedure as the rest of the prisoners. And that is how it happens usually. The prisoners are not told in advance about the time and date of transfer. Right before the departure, the warden walks into the cell, calls the name of the prisoner and asks him to walk out of the cell with personal belongings. The prisoner is given time to gather the things. Then, he is placed in a special automobile, which delivers him to the train.
Both officers from FPS explained Kommersant that the place where Khodorkovsky and Lebedev would be doing their time will become known on Tuesday, when one relative chosen by each prisoners himself would receive a notification by mail from the head of the Matrosskaya Tishina Prison.
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