MOSCOW, July 25 (Itar-Tass) - The Russian Justice Ministry is satisfied with the decision of the European Court of Human Rights that once again dismissed political motivation in the criminal case against ex-head of YUKOS Mikhail Khodorkovsky and former MENATEP director Platon Lebedev.
“We are now studying the court decision, but already now after looking through it we can say with satisfaction that the ECHR has confirmed its position that the criminal prosecution of Khodorkovsky is not politically motivated,” sources from the office of the Russian envoy to the European Court of Human Rights said. “This was what the lawyers of Khodorkovsky and Lebedev were mainly seeking,” they stressed.
“The Court acknowledged that there is no political connotation in the criminal case, and thus there is no violation of Article 18 (of the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms),” Justice Ministry sources said.
Besides, the ECHR said Article 7 of the Convention was not violated either. Khodorkovsky complained of unpredictability of the legislation, in particular saying the Russian tax legislation was “vague and unpredictable,” but the court dismissed this, the sources added.
However, the ECHR acknowledged some procedural violations - it was said in the complaint in particular that the accused could not question certain experts in his case, part of the evidence was allegedly received in illegal searches - and ruled to pay 10,000 euros to Khodorkovsky as compensation.
“We are satisfied with the decision of the court that dismissed political motives in the criminal proceedings. All the rest will be thoroughly analyzed. After the decision is translated into Russian, we will contact concerned agencies with enquiries,” the sources said in reply to the question whether there will be an appeal against this decision.
They also said that “as a rule lawyers (of Khodorkovsky and Lebedev) appeal against all decisions to the European Court of Human Rights”.