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Mikhail Fedotov: Political component in Yukos case is subject over and done with

July 25, 2013, 16:10 UTC+3
"We may like the ECHR verdict or not, but it has been passed, and we must accept it," Mikhail Fedotov said
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MOSCOW, July 25 (Itar-Tass) - The decision of the European Court of Human Rights on the first Yukos case practically closes the subject of its alleged political motivation, the head of the Council for the Development of the Civil Society under the Russian president, Mikhail Fedotov, said on Thursday.

“We may like the ECHR verdict or not, but it has been passed, and we must accept it. The subject is over and done with in this respect,” Fedotov told Echo of Moscow radio on Thursday. However, he believes that the European Court’s decision will not influence the attitude to the Khodorkovsky case in Russia. “Or course everybody will reserve their own judgment,” he added.

Fedotov reminded the listeners that the Strasbourg court had accepted some arguments by the appeal initiators. “Here our legal authorities will have to react accordingly, as we have a ruling of the Plenum of Supreme Court, which says decisions of the European Court are compulsory for Russian courts,” he stated.

The ECHR has dismissed political motivation in the case against former head of Yukos Mikhail Khodorkovsky and former MENATEP director Platon Lebedev. In the same ruling, the court acknowledged that when reviewing the first Yukos case, the Russian court had violated the European Convention on Human Rights which guarantees inviolability of private ownership. It also found no evidence suggesting abuse of the accused.

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. Lebedev was denied compensation.

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