Moscow: Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has ordered a review of the legality of conviction of jailed anti-Putin tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky.
The prosecutor-General has been asked to conduct a review by April 1 of convictions of 32 citizens including Khodorkovsky and his business partner Platon Lebedev, Kremlin said in a statement on Monday.
Khodorkovsky has been in jail in a penal colony on charges of fraud and tax evasion since his arrest on a Siberian airport runway in 2003, which his supporters claim was punishment for funding the liberal opposition at a time when Vladimir Putin was beginning to create a "vertical power structure."
At the time of his arrest Khodorkovsky was one of Russia's richest man.
Khodorkovsky's lawyer Yury Schmidt said he does not know what to expect from Medvedev's order.
"It could be a purely formal decision, an insignificant one, or a signal that they have decided to close the Khodorkovsky and Lebedev stop it causing troubles for the authorities," Schmidt said.
Schmidt also said it could be positive for his client if Prime Minister Vladimir Putin signalled that a probe could be started.
"If there is no (Putin's) approval, Medvedev's decision will not lead to anything positive," he added.