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Khodorkovsky's defense hails ECHR's ruling on Yukos

September 21, 2011, 11:53 UTC+3
"We welcome the ECHR's conclusions on serious violations of the right to a fair trial and property right, committed by the Russian government in dealing with Yukos", - the...
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MOSCOW, September 21 (Itar-Tass) — The lawyers of former Yukos CEO Mikhail Khodorkovsky hailed the ruling by the European court of human rights (ECHR) which said Russian authorities violated the right to a fair trial in the Yukos case, according to the official website of Khodorkovsky press office.

"We welcome the ECHR's conclusions on serious violations of the right to a fair trial and property right, committed by the Russian government in dealing with Yukos. Khodorkovsky has long insisted that Yukos was forcibly subjected to unjustified and unfair bankruptcy, directed by the state, and that the Russian people would continue to pay a huge economic, political and social price for "the Yukos case" for a long time. The Company was Russia’s largest private taxpayer and many viewed it as the vanguard of the country's modernization," the statement said.

Meanwhile, the lawyers noted that the ECHR decision concerns the damages suit to the tune of over 100 billion dollars for illegal expropriate of Yukos by the Russian government but that "Khodorkovsky is not a party to the case and did not play any role in the proceedings."

Since he was put in custody in 2003, "Khodorkovsky has been struggling for the acknowledgement of glaring and endless violations of the basic human rights, such and the right to a fair trial, and compensations for violation of property right is not the objective of Khodorkovsky complaint lodged with the ECHR."

On May 31, 2011, the ECHR issued a resolution in response to Khodorkovsky's first complaint. It said basic human rights had been violated in the period from 2003 through 2005. It ruled that Khodorkovsky was entitled to compensation worth 10,000 euros.

The former Yukos CEO said he would give away this money as charity.

On Tuesday, the Strasbourg court announced its ruling with respect to the damage claim by former company shareholders, who had demanded more than 98 billion dollars in compensation for "illegal alienation of property by the sate."

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.

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