Mr. Theede complains: “I want that for me personally the story with Yukos become thing of the past”. Svetlana Bakhmina, the lawyer of Yukos, had her punishment mitigated. The website Prigovor.ru reminds its readers of what happened on August 24, 2006.
On this day, 15 years ago, on August 24, 2006, Steven Michael Theede rather oversensitive reacted to the actions of the Office of the Prosecutor General of Russia, which, on August 17, launched a criminal case against a group of foreign managers of Yukos including Mr. Theede. They are suspected of embezzling and legalizing foreign assets to the amount of 10 billion US dollars.
Nervous Mr. Theede
In a rather bombastic style and with elements of demagogy, typical to many foreign managers of Yukos, Mr. Theede was outraged by the actions of the Russian investigation. Evidently, thinking of himself as untouchable - although there are no exceptions for foreigners, - he declared that the Russian investigators had launched a probe against persons that didn’t live in Russia. “They are trying to impose their will on those who in recent years did something that they could and must, defending the interests of the company". He made such complaints when talking to the reporters of the British corporation BBC assuring them that “he would not sit with his hands folded”.
At that, Mr. Theede said that he had misgivings about possible extradition and that he would like to leave Yukos behind.
“I stepped down as president and member of the board of directors. I want that for me personally the story with Yukos rest in the past and that I want to have a possibility to live further. It seems that the Russian authorities want to considerably complicate the realization of these plans. The investigation that they initiated could, in principle, give them a possibility to appeal to the agreements of extradition, signed with several European countries. In the meantime, I don’t understand the seriousness of the threat of being extradited to Russia. Meanwhile, I would prefer, as far as possible, to limit my trips and to travel only to the United States and Great Britain, and beyond them, I will watch out", noted the figurant of the criminal case.
Probably, money laundering and assets embezzlement from the former company of Mikhail Khodorkovsky – of all these the Russian investigators accused these foreigners – these "overseas" managers, as a matter of fact, considered as their “duty”.
By the way, on February 17, 2005, Mr. Theede assured the American establishment, namely, Obama and Biden, that the tax arrears of Yukos were “the invention of the Russian authorities”.
"The government officials commissioned the tax agencies to launch a tax case against Yukos. As to the tax claims, it's an invention having neither a foundation nor a precedent", said Mr. Theede with abandon, as if he had forgotten that that in each country there are tax agencies with their own responsibilities anchored by laws. Perhaps, he forgot that in 2004 he himself sent a letter to the Russian government just on tax problems. He addressed the government of Russia with a proposal to pay 8 billion US dollars of existing and assumed back taxes of Yukos for the period from 2000 to 2003, i.e. for three years.
It goes without saying that nobody accepted such an "assumed sum", as the tax situation in Yukos was far worse, tax arrears higher, thus bringing "the most transparent company" to the level of the fraudulent tax-dodger”.
The punishment for Bakhmina was mitigated
15 years ago, on August 24, 2006, the Moscow City Court dismissed the cassation appeal of the lawyers of Svetlana Bakhmina, the deputy head of the Legal Department of “Yukos-Moskva”, although her lawyers insisted on acquitting sentence for their client. However, by the same verdict the Court mitigated the verdict and reduced her 7 years term of imprisonment by 6 months.
The Court excluded from the verdict Article 198 (Tax evasion) and stopped the investigation of this matter in connection with the expiration of the term of limitation. The Court adjudged Bakhmina guilty under Article 160, paragraph 3 of the Criminal Code of Russian Federation (Misappropriation or Embezzlement)
The attorneys continued to insist on the innocence of their client. "Bakhmina is innocent, the court went beyond the framework of the prosecution, she became an overly severe punishment", said the lawyer of the defendant Alexander Gofstein (the career of this Yukos attorney, by the way, made shortly a fanciful turn – he was arrested as “a mafia lawyer” on the territory of Spain).
The Office of the Prosecutor General, in its turn, agreed with this decision. “We agree with the decision of the court, it is well-founded and fair, we are not going to appeal", said the prosecutor Nikolay Vlasov. In his words, the complaint, which the lawyers lodged, “is unfounded, Bakhmina knew what she was getting in for, and she was aware of what she was doing, so she has to blame only herself".
(See also: “For what sits in prison Svetlana Bakhmina. How “the mother of two kids” cheated Khodorkovsky as part of the “organized criminal group Trushin – Gololobov – Kurtsin”).
By the Verdict of the Simonovsky Court of the City of Moscow, on April 19, 2006, Bakhmina was adjudged guilty and sentenced to seven years of incarceration in a colony of a general regime. In April 2009 the Preobrazhensky Court of the City Moscow satisfied the request of Bakhmina for early parole”, notes the website Prigovor.ru.
(See also the previous story: “On this day “the neutral” Switzerland hid evidence of the Yukos criminal case”. Switzerland should not hand over to Russia the bank documents on the Yukos case", so was the decision of a Swiss court directed against Russia. The website Prigovor.ru reminds its readers of what happened on August 23, 2007.