Medvedev, Merkel discuss jailed billionaire Khodorkovsky
Russian President Dimitry Medvedev said Mikhail Khodorkovsky had to be treated the same as any other citizen after discussing the case of the jailed billionaire with Chancellor Angela Merkel in Berlin Thursday, reported the dpa.
"Pardoning offenders should not be part of negotiations at state level between politicians," Khodorkovsky told a press conference following the meeting.
All citizens should have the same rights in this regard, he said.
Medvedev implicitly acknowledged deficiencies in the Russian courts and legal system.
"Our legal system is in a phase of development," he said, stressing that reform was a "key task."
Merkel said she had talked to the Russian president, who took office a month ago, on media law and other aspects of the law.
German officials have long urged Russia to modernize its legal system, with regard both to human rights and to contract law so that foreign investors can function in a more secure legal environment.
Khodorkovsky was found guilty of fraud in May 2005 and sentenced to 10 years in a Siberian jail.
The sentence is seen by many as politically motivated, as Khodorkovsky, who grew rich through the privatization of state enterprises, had funded political movements opposed to then president Vladimir Putin.