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Khodorkovsky associate walks free after over a decade in jail

MOSCOW--Former oil tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky's business partner Platon Lebedev walked free from prison on Friday after Russia's Supreme Court ordered his early release.

The 57-year-old had served 10-and-a-half years of his sentence for fraud, tax evasion and money laundering before the court ordered his release on Thursday. His sentence had been due to end in May

“Platon Lebedev left the prison colony ... in the Arkhangelsk region around 10:00 pm Moscow time,” a spokesman for the prison service told the RIA Novosti news agency.

Khodorkovsky was released last month after receiving a pardon from President Vladimir Putin on humanitarian grounds and left Russia immediately afterwards. He is currently in Switzerland with his family.

Lebedev left the prison colony after being met by his eldest daughter Lyudmila and his son Mikhail, his lawyer Vladimir Krasnov told Khodorkovsky's official website.

“I am just bursting inside. I congratulate everyone on this news,” Krasnov said.

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