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ST. PETERSBURG, January 16. /TASS/. Russia’s Constitutional Court will announce its decision on January 19 on the possibility of executing a judgment by the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) obliging Russia to pay over 1.866 billion euros to ex-Yukos shareholders, the court’s press office said on Monday.
"On January 19, 2017, Thursday, at 10 hours, the Constitutional Court of Russia will announce a decision at its open session on the possibility of enforcing in compliance with the Constitution of the Russian Federation a resolution of the European Court of Human Rights of July 31, 2014 under the case of Oil Company Yukos versus Russia," the press office said in a statement.
Russia’s Justice Ministry earlier submitted a request to the Constitutional Court to rule on the possibility of enforcing the ECHR’s additional judgment on the Yukos case. In the ministry’s opinion, the obligations placed on the Russian Federation by the disputed ruling are based on the application of the provisions of the European Convention on Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms in an interpretation that contradicts the Russian Constitution.
During the open session on this issue, the Russian government’s representatives in the Constitutional Court also said that the European Court’s Yukos ruling could not be enforced.
The ECHR ruled on July 31, 2014 to award over 1.866 billion euros in compensation payments to former Yukos shareholders under their complaint filed against Russia.
The ECHR concluded that Russian courts had breached article 6 of the European Convention on Human Rights stipulating the right to a fair trial when they had examined Yukos taxation issues in the early 2000s because the company had not been given enough time to prepare for its defense.
The court also obliged Russia to pay 300,000 euros to former Yukos shareholders as compensation for their judicial expenses.
Russia’s Constitutional Court earlier ruled that the ECHR’s rulings could be enforced in Russia, only if they didn’t contradict the country’s Fundamental Law.
Yukos oil giant was accused of tax crimes and declared a bankrupt by a Russian 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.