ECHR: Khodorkovsky Denied Fair Trial

January 14, 2020


The European Court of Human Rights has ruled today that Mikhail Khodorkovsky and Platon Lebedev were denied their right to a fair trial and had suffered an unforeseeable application of the criminal law to their detriment (in breach of Article 7 of the European Convention on Human Rights) in the case of their conviction by a Russian court.

Reacting to today’s decision Mr. Khodorkovsky wrote on his facebook page:

Today, an important conclusion was drawn on the international criminal law assessment of the “Yukos case”.

Following six consecutive decisions by the ECHR on all aspects of the process, it has now been recognised that the Russian authorities’ actions against me and my colleagues were not a “fair trial”.

This now applies to all aspects of the case – from criminal prosecution under tax evasion charges to deliberately false criminal charges against my friends and colleagues.

Indeed, we were not able to prove to the ECHR that the reasons for pseudolegal banditry were purely political, despite the fact that this was recognized in a number of international decisions.

Frankly speaking, I myself am not completely sure what was more important- the fear of political competition or the simple greed of the Kremlin criminal group that captured the Russian state.

During ten years the Hague arbitration court along with participation and consent of the arbiter chosen by the Kremlin has carefully looked into every aspect of the nonsense allegations mounted by the authorities. Regardless of whether it’s decision to award monetary compensation would be confirmed, the court has reached its verdict – the Kremlin group stole 94 billion dollars from all Yukos shareholders.

Nevertheless, no one can stop those who wish to believe that Yukos, the country’s second largest taxpayer, did not pay any taxes and stole the oil it produced.

No one can stop people from believing that “the fortune was made by committing crimes”.

What really matters to us here is that if we want to live in a normal, rule-of-law state, if we want security, rather than lawlessness, then we are obliged to defend everyone’s constitutional right to be presumed innocent until proved guilty in a fair trial.

It is clear now that there was no fair trial.

All accused are innocent.

Now we need to achieve the redress, the main one being the release of Alexei Pichugin, who has been in prison for 16 years.

We need to conduct a fair trial. This time over the real criminals.

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