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Russia to seize funds from disgraced ex-oligarchs – RIA

Prosecutors are reportedly seeking to confiscate up to $13 million from former Yukos executives Mikhail Khodorkovsky and Platon Lebedev

The Russian Prosecutor General’s Office has filed a lawsuit in order to confiscate up to $13 million from exiled former tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky and his one-time business partner Platon Lebedev, several media outlets reported on Monday, citing unnamed sources.

The suit against Khodorkovsky, Lebedev, and the defunct Siberian Leasing Company was registered by Moscow’s Meshchansky District Court on May 8. Initial hearings are scheduled for May 27, according to the website of the Russian capital’s general jurisdiction courts. No public charges have been announced so far.

The unnamed sources told Russian news agencies that the case revolves around 986 million rubles ($11 million) and $1.8 million that remains deposited in National Bank Trust accounts and will most likely be seized by the Russian authorities.

Khodorkovsky founded the now-defunct oil and gas giant Yukos, which was established after a controversial auction of state assets following the collapse of the Soviet Union and quickly became one of the world’s most valuable companies. Once Russia’s richest man, Khodorkovsky was arrested and charged with fraud in 2003. He was sentenced to 14 years in prison but was freed after 10 years and 10 months; in 2013, Russian President Vladimir Putin pardoned the former tycoon, who left Russia following his release.

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FILE PHOTO: Mikhail Khodorkovsky (L) attends the Munich Security Conference in February 2023.
Putin has no regrets about pardoning Khodorkovsky – Kremlin

Lebedev, also named as a defendant in the Yukos case, was found guilty of embezzlement, tax evasion and money laundering and served nine years in prison. He was released in early 2014.

According to the Russian business daily RBK, Siberian Leasing Company, which is listed among the defendants in the latest suit, was founded by RN-Leasing and is owned by four enterprises registered in Cyprus.

In March, the Prosecutor General’s Office announced plans to appeal against a decision made by the Amsterdam Court of Appeal which upheld the enforcement of a $50 billion award to the former shareholders in the Yukos bankruptcy case.

The ruling is the latest in a decade-long trial at the International Court of Arbitration in The Hague, which ordered in 2014 that Russia had violated its international obligations by taking steps to bankrupt the massive oil company in the early 2000s. Moscow has insisted that the dispute with the shareholders was outside the jurisdiction of any foreign court.

May 20, 2024 at 07:49PM
RT

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