Khodorkovsky Was Denied Proper to a Honest Trial, Court docket Says


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Mikhail Khodorkovsky, the Russian businessman who spent almost a decade in jail in Russia on what he mentioned have been politically motivated expenses by the Kremlin, received a second victory at Europe’s prime human rights court docket.


The Russian trial decide’s refusal to “allow the defense to examine prosecution and defense witnesses and to submit important expert or exculpatory evidence” violated Khodorkovsky’s rights and people of his former enterprise associate Platon Lebedev throughout their second trial in 2009 and 2010, the European Court docket of Human Rights dominated on Tuesday.

The Strasbourg, France-based ECHR had in 2011 had beforehand ordered Russia to pay Khodorkovsky about $35,000 in damages for jailing him in “inhuman and degrading conditions” in 2005 across the time of his first conviction.

Khodorkovsky was arrested in 2003 as a part of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s crackdown on businessmen who gained management of Russia’s useful resource wealth after the Soviet Union collapsed. Khodorkovsky has maintained his innocence, saying the circumstances in opposition to him and the oil agency Yukos that he had constructed are retribution for financing opposition events, an accusation the Kremlin has denied.


Khodorkovsky was convicted in 2005 and sentenced to 9 years in jail for fraud and tax evasion, in a case that was extensively criticized by human rights activists together with Amnesty Worldwide. From jail, he continued to marketing campaign to assist foster civil society in Russia. He was launched in December 2013 by presidential pardon within the run-up to the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, and now lives in London, the place he continues to criticize the Kremlin and advocate for political change in Russia.

Khodorkovsky, 56, welcomed the European tribunal’s verdict, which he mentioned marked a defining second in proving the illegality of the so-called Yukos affair.

Whereas the court docket didn’t again up the accusation that the prosecution of Russia’s then-richest man was “purely political,” it decided that “what the Russian authorities did to me and my colleagues didn’t amount to a fair trial,” Khodorkovsky mentioned on Fb.


Embezzlement Costs

Lebedev was free of jail in January 2014 after additionally serving almost a decade following his 2005 conviction for tax evasion and 2010 conviction on the identical money-laundering and embezzlement expenses. Lebedev is in Moscow and is barred from leaving Russia below the phrases of his conviction.

He mentioned he would offer remark as soon as he’s learn the whole determination.

In Tuesday’s ruling, nevertheless, the ECHR didn’t discover the Russian trial decide had violated independence and impartiality guidelines, nor had he damaged the precept of presumption of innocence of the 2 defendants.

Russia’s Justice Ministry expressed satisfaction with that end result, noting that the ECHR didn’t discover “convincing proof” of a political motive within the case.

In the meantime, Putin was let off the hook for detrimental feedback the Russian chief made in the course of the trial about Khodorkovsky and Lebedev, which the court docket mentioned hadn’t violated the presumption of innocence. Putin had talked about the pair being probably complicit in murders for which Yukos’ head of safety had been convicted, and made comparisons with convicted U.S. fraudster Bernie Madoff.

(Provides Khodorkovsky’s response in sixth paragraph)

–With help from Henry Meyer and Irina Reznik.

To contact the reporter on this story: Hugo Miller in Geneva at hugomiller@bloomberg.internet

To contact the editors accountable for this story: Anthony Aarons at aaarons@bloomberg.internet, Peter Chapman, Gregory L. White

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