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ECHR rules Russia should pay €1.86 billion as compensation to Yukos stockholders

July 31, 2014, 12:56 UTC+3 STRASBOURG
At first plaintiffs claimed $98 billion
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The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) in Strasbourg

The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) in Strasbourg


STRASBOURG, July 31. /ITAR-TASS/. The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) ruled Russia should pay 1.86 billion euro to shareholders of Russian oil company Yukos in compensation to their lawsuit against the country tried back in 2011.

The decision is not final and can be appealed in the ECHR Grand Chamber by a litigating party within three months.

This is already the second international court verdict pronounced recently amid sweeping sanctions world community imposed on Russia.

At first plaintiffs claimed $98 billion (€81 billion), but then the petitioner reduced its claims to 37.98 billion euro, ECHR said in its materials.

The lawsuit in the Strasbourg Court of Human Rights is based on plaintiffs’ accusations that Russian government had expropriated Yukos property, an unjust trial and arbitrary application of the law. The lawsuit was accepted for merit court proceedings only in 2009. Main hearings in the lawsuit were held in 2010 and an intermediate verdict was pronounced in September 2011.

The court verdict to pay compensations to former Yukos stockholders is not final and may be appealed in the ECHR Grand Chamber by a litigating party within three months.

Yukos shareholders filed a lawsuit in the ECHR in April 2004. Yukos foreign stockholders act as plaintiffs. In 2005 they established company Stichting Administratiekantoor Yukos International protecting interests of the company in courts. Meanwhile, Yukos foreign subsidiaries — UK-based Yukos UK Limited, Armenia’s Yukos CIS Investments Limited and the Netherlands’ Yukos Finance BV supported the lawsuit in the ECHR.

The Hague Permanent Court of Arbitration has also satisfied recently the lawsuit filed by former Yukos stockholders, obliging Russia to pay $50 billion in favor of plaintiffs.

Russian authorities reject strongly a political motivation in bringing to justice Yukos chief executives and shareholders.

Yukos liquidation

Yukos oil giant was accused of tax crimes and declared a bankrupt by a court ruling in 2006 while its assets were sold at auctions during the liquidation procedure.

Yukos former head Mikhail Khodorkovsky and his business partner Platon Lebedev were found guilty of embezzlement and tax evasion in May 2005 and sentenced to nine years in prison.

While serving their prison term, both Khodorkovsky and Lebedev were found guilty of embezzlement and money laundering in a second criminal case in December 2010 and sentenced to 14 years in prison, with account taken of the jail term they had served.

Khodorkovsky was pardoned by Russian President Vladimir Putin and left the prison in December 2013. Lebedev was released from the jail in early 2014.

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