Yukos Lawyer Withdraws Pardon Petition

Yukos lawyer Svetlana Bakhmina, who is eight months pregnant, has withdrawn her petition for a presidential pardon for unclear reasons, her lawyer said Thursday.

"The petition has been withdrawn on Bakhmina's request," lawyer Roman Golovkin said, citing information provided to him by the administration of the prison hospital where Bakhmina was hospitalized when she applied for pardon on Oct. 20.

The lawyer said Bakhmina has been transferred from the prison hospital to a civil hospital within the Federal Prison Service in the village of Yavas in the republic of Mordovia, where Bakhmina is serving a 6 1/2-year term on charges of embezzlement and tax evasion.

Bakhmina's lawyers have been unable to get in touch with her since Oct. 24, he said. "She, herself, supposedly doesn't want to see anyone," he said.

No one was available for comment Thursday afternoon at the Federal Prison Service's branch for Mordovia.

Bakhmina wihdrew her petition on Oct. 24, Golovkin said, adding that prison officials had informed him a week later.

Vedomosti reported last week that Bakhmina had withdrawn her request, citing unidentified prison officials.

Bakhmina, who has served more than half of her sentence, was denied parole in September on the grounds that she had violated prison rules four times early on and had not shown improvements in her behavior since.

In October, Public Chamber officials and former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev called on Medvedev for pardon.