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Rosneft Pres says Hague tribunal might pass ruling on Yukos under pressure

The head of "Rosneft" doesn't exclude that the former head of Yukos Mikhail Khodorkovsky and his partner Leonid Nevzlin can nourish idea to sweep including concerning personally Sechin

FRANKFURT, August 31, /ITAR-TASS/. Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague might pass its ruling on repayment of $ 50 billion by Russia to the former shareholders of the now defunct oil corporation Yukos under political pressure, Igor Sechin, the president of the Russian oil industry major Rosneft said in an interview published by Der Spiegel magazine.

“As for the verdict of the Hague court, one cannot rule out it was taken under definite political pressure, especially in the wake of the introduction of (U.S.) and (EU) economic sanctions against Russia,” Sechin said. “As we can see, pressure was used and Yukos’s former shareholders lavishly paid up an amassed media campaign.”

“Lawyers see ungrounded interpretations and encroachments on procedures admitted by the Hague court,” he said. “Recall that this lawsuit doesn’t fall into the jurisdiction of Permanent Court of Arbitration under the European Energy Charter.”

Sechin said the Charter protects foreign investors while Yukos was a Russian company, albeit one registered in an offshore zone.

On the face of it, he made a reminder that the Russian court had provided ample evidence of Yukos’s linkage to criminal offenses.

“They wiped out those who would stand in their way,” Sechin said. “Yukos’s road to success was bestrewn with dead bodies and the Russian courts established the fact.”

“Direct involvement of (Mikhail) Khodorkovsky (Yukos’s founder - Itar-Tass) in the murders wasn’t proved but the guilt of his subordinates including his closest partner, Leonid Nevzlin, was and I doubt very Yukos’s CEO didn’t know anything about it.

Russian government officials strongly deny the allegations that the judiciary persecution of Yukos, its executives and shareholders had a political underpinning.

The Russian court ruled that a whole range of Yukos’s top executives were guilty of an array of crimes. For instance, the company’s CEO and founder was sentenced to a long jail term on charges of embezzlement and tax evasion, and his former deputy, Leonid Nevzlin, who is hiding away in Israel was sentenced to a life term for organizing contract murders and embezzling property.