STRASBOURG, September 20 (Itar-Tass) — The European court of human rights (ECHR) said in a ruling on Tuesday that the tax claims against Russia's oil company Yukos were not political motivated.
A panel of judges did not find sufficient evidence to support the allegations that the claims by Russian tax bodies against the Yukos company had been unsubstantiated and actually aimed to expropriate the company.
Earlier, the Russian Justice Ministry said the leadership of the oil giant used 22 dummy firms to avoid the payment of taxes on a tremendous scale.
However, the Strasbourg-based court's ruling said Russia had violated Yukos' right to protection of property.
The Russian authorities had violated several fundamental provisions of the European Convention on Human rights, such as Article 6 (the right to a fair trial), it said.
Former Yukos shareholders demanded a compensation from the Russian budget exceeding 98 billion dollars for illegal alienation of property by the state.
The shareholders lodged a complaint with the ECHR back in 2004. In early 2009, the court said it would consider the claim. The ECHR's Tuesday ruling, if not challenged, will become effective in three months.
Meanwhile, a ECHR official told Tass the date of review had not been set yet.
On Tuesday, the Russian Justice Ministry said the reasons the ECHR cited in acknowledging procedural violations in the Yukos case were "judgmental."
The ECHR acknowledged violations of provisions of Article 1, Protocol # 1 of the Convention on Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms on two grounds; each was of judgmental nature and caused a difference in the positions of European court members during the voting," the Ministry said.
The Russian Justice Ministry also stated that “the Court fully rejected accusations against the Russian Federation on ‘political motivation’ and ’the repressive character’ of the persecution of YUKOS, as well as on the alleged discrimination against YUKOS on the part of the Russian authorities.”