[JURIST] A Russian court has ruled that officials at the Siberian prison holding former Yukos CEO Mikhail Khodorkovsky [defense website; JURIST news archive] unfairly punished him in December by reprimanding him for leaving a prison workshop without receiving permission. The court has already annulled the reprimand once, but an appeals court overturned the decision on procedural grounds and ordered the East Siberian District Court to rehear the appeal. On Thursday, the court overturned the reprimand [press release], accepting Khodorkovsky's arguments that he left the factory to report malfunctioning equipment and that other inmates would not have been punished for similar actions.
Khodorkovsky is currently serving an eight-year prison sentence [JURIST report] after being convicted [JURIST report] last year on fraud and tax evasion charges. If the reprimand had remained on his record, Khodorkovsky would be ineligible for early release. Earlier this year, Khodorkovsky was transferred to solitary confinement after officials found Justice Ministry documents on prisoners' rights in his cell, but his lawyers succeeded in obtaining a court ruling that the transfer was unlawful [JURIST report]. Khodorkovsky's lawyers are also challenging another solitary confinement punishment issued when Khodorkovsky drank tea in an unauthorized place. Reuters has more. RIA Novosti has local coverage.