PARIS, January 14. /TASS/. The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) partially satisfied a lawsuit filed by ex-CEO of the now-defunct Yukos oil company Mikhail Khodorkovsky and former Menatep Group CEO Platon Lebedev, but did not acknowledge their complaints that the criminal case against them was politically motivated. The court ruling regarding the so-called second case was published on the ECHR’s website on Tuesday.
The court said in a press release that it "unanimously held that there was no need to examine the applicants’ complaints under Article 18 (limitation on use of restrictions on rights) in conjunction with Articles 6 and 7 and Article 4 of Protocol No. 7 (right not to be tried or punished twice), and, no violation of Article 18 in conjunction with Article 8."
In the meantime, the court satisfied the duo’s complaints over the violation of Article 6 of the Convention, which guarantees the right to a fair trial, acknowledging their claims about the court’s refusal to listen to several defense witnesses and interrogate the plaintiffs’ experts.
However, the complaints citing paragraph 2 of Article 6 regarding the violation of presumption of innocence by the Russian authorities’ public statements, were declined, along with complaints regarding the partiality of the judge on the case and claims that the defendants were not provided enough time to prepare their defense.
The ECHR acknowledged that Khodorkovsky and Lebedev suffered violations of Article 7 of the Convention (no punishment without a legal basis) and Article 8 (the right of respect for private and family life). However, the judges did not consider it necessary to accept the claims over the length of their sentence terms.
"[The Court] holds, unanimously, that the finding of a violation constitutes in itself sufficient just satisfaction for the non-pecuniary damage sustained by the applicants," the court's decision reads.
On December 30, 2010, Moscow’s Khamovniki district court convicted Khodorkovsky and Lebedev of theft and money laundering, and sentenced them to 14 years in a penal colony. Later, the Moscow city court eased the sentence to 11 years, and the Supreme Court shortened it even further, to 10 years and 10 months. This second case was initiated after Khodorkovsky and Lebedev were handed nine-year sentences in 2005 for fraud and tax evasion.