Thursday, July 25, 2013

Strasbourg Court: Yukos Trial Nether Political Nor Fair

The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) ruled Thursday that the 2005 conviction against Russian businessmen Mikhail Khodorkovsky and Platon Lebedev was based on legitimate charges, dismissing their complaint that their prosecution was politically motivated, but found that the hearing of their case was unfair. Thursday’s ruling by the ECHR stated almost eight years after the trial ended that the charges had been brought on "a sound basis," but that numerous violations had been committed during the trial. The charges launched in 2003 against Khodorkovsky and Lebedev are commonly known in Russia as “the first Yukos case,” and led to a crackdown on the company and its eventual liquidation. The trial, which was one of that decade’s most high-profile legal cases in Russia, was widely criticized by human rights groups. The ECHR found that the Russian authorities had violated a range of the defendants’ rights during and after the legal proceedings, including by sending both to remote penal colonies in Siberia and Russia’s far north – thousands of kilometers away from their families – and by breaching lawyer-client confidentiality.

Russian Ministry of Justice: Khodorkovsky sentence may be annuled (video)

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