Investigation into new Yukos case began in earnest in 2011

posted 20 Dec 2013, 06:26 by Rights in Russia   [ updated 20 Dec 2013, 06:31 ]
18 December 2013

Source: (info)
The investigation in relation to a new criminal case against Yukos began in 2011, Interfax reported on Wednesday 18 December, citing sources close to the investigation.

According to Interfax, the law-enforcement authorities started to gather evidence related to a new case against Yukos two weeks after the former heads of the oil company Mikhail Khodorkovsky and Platon Lebedev had been convicted for the second time. It is reported that since that time a number of searches have been carried out as well as the seizure of documents from banks and various firms. In February 2013, according to the agency’s sources, the pace of the investigation was speeded up and new searches and interrogations were carried out. Interfax notes that officially the law-enforcement authorities have not yet confirmed this information.

The announcement that several new criminal cases against Khodorkovsky are being investigated into was made on 6 December by the deputy prosecutor general of the RF Aleksandr Zvyagintsev. He gave no details, but said that the cases have “good judicial prospects”, reports

The source told Interfax that the case is connected to laundering $10 billion which allegedly was stolen by Mikhail Khodorkovsky. In 2006 this case, according to the agency’s source, was separated from the main Yukos case, which was initiated in 2003. It was also reported that the charges in the new Yukos case would be brought only against Mikhail Khodorkovsky, while Platon Lebedev would be considered as a witness.

The former head of Yukos Mikhail Khodorkovsky and the former head of Menatep Platon Lebedev have been in custody since first detained in 2003 on charges of financial crimes. In 2005 Khodorkovsky was convicted for the first time. In 2010 Khodorkovsky and Lebedev were convicted a second time and sentenced to a total of 14 years, taking into account the time already served. Later the sentences were reviewed twice and reduced. If they served full terms, Lebedev should be released in May 2014 and Khodorkovsky in August 2014.

Translated by Olga Cable