On this day, the Supreme Court of Russia dismissed the mythmaking of Yukos defense

On this day, the Supreme Court of Russia dismissed the mythmaking of Yukos defense

The Ruling of the Supreme Court of Russia No 5-D 12-24: “The arguments of the defense are inconsistent, there is no reason to redress the supervisory complaint…” The website Prigovor.ru reminds its readers of what happened on May 15, 2012.

On this day, on May 15, 2012, the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation refused to redress the supervisory complaint on the second criminal case against the two billionaires – against the former head of the oil company NK Yukos Mikhail Khodorkovsky and the former head of the International Financial Association MFO “Menatep” Platon Lebedev. They received the second criminal record in December 2010 within the framework of the criminal case on embezzlement of oil and legalizing (laundering) of the stolen property acquired by illegal means.

(See also the article “On this day, proofs were presented to swindlers from Yukos” and the article “On this day, a prison sentence was announced to Khodorkovsky for embezzlement and money laundering”).

The complaint to the Supreme Court of Russia, compiled by lawyers of the criminals from Yukos, didn’t bring anything new to the circumstances that had been already widely known and studied in detail. The team of lawyers engaged by Khodorkovsky and Lebedev, was continuing to argue that the verdict from December 2010 and the refusal of the cassation department of the Moscow City Court to reconsider it, “are illegal, passed with numerous violations of the law and are subject to reversal”, and Khodorkovsky and Lebedev had not create any criminal group, but simply had worked within the framework “of a usual business activity”. The overused “political background” also came to the picture.

“The court”, pointed out in their complaint the glossy lawyers, “has ignored the arguments of the defense that the criminal prosecution of the convicted are politically motivated”. It is also worth taking into account the Report of the Presidential Council on development of civil society and human rights regarding this criminal case”.

(See also the article “On this day, on behalf of the ECtHR, they justified Khodorkovsky's crimes”. Report-misapprehension).


“Having considered the supervisory complaint, having studied the requested criminal case, I find no reasons to redress the complaint”, stated in his Ruling the Judge of the Supreme Court Alexander Voronov. He also described in details why, actually, the Court declined to redress the supervisory complaint.

“The conclusions of the Court on the guilt of Khodorkovsky M.B. and Lebedev P.L. of crimes they have been convicted of, are corroborated by the totality of evidence on the case collected and studied in the court’s hearings, of proofs that were received in line with the demands of the criminal procedure law, and they are objectively presented and evaluated in accordance with Article 88 of the Code of Criminal Procedure of the Russian Federation. They are in keeping with each other on factual circumstances, and, in this connection, they have been recognized by the Court as acceptable, reliable and have been taken as the basis for the verdict”.

“The court”, it was pointed out in the Ruling, “have studied versions put forward in defense of the accused. A rightful appraisal has been given to all of them in the verdict, it which it is explained why some proofs are recognized by the Court as reliable, and others not”.


“We cannot agree with the arguments of the complaint about the artificial criminalization by the investigation, and by the court of ordinary business activities of the oil company Yukos, of rightful managerial actions of Khodorkovsky M.B. and Lebedev P.L. with regard to the JSCs (affiliate companies). In the verdict, it is presented in detail how, and under which circumstances Khodorkovsky M.B. and Lebedev P.L., using the fact of owning of the majority of the stocks of the JSC NK Yukos and the affiliate companies, and having acquired the right of strategic and operational management of oil producing enterprises, first had created conditions for committing embezzlement and other illegal actions, and then realized their criminal intentions. As it was rightfully established by the court, the activities of the accused were carried out with brazen violations of the rights of the oil producing companies”, was pointed out in the document of the Supreme Court of Russia.

It’s interesting to note that the lawyers so diligently approached to the assignment of defending the rights of their clients that they equaled official duties with criminal activity. As this was one of the arguments of the defense, the court separately dwelled on this issue.

“As to the assumptions in the supervisory complaint that the court, under the guise of the redistribution of roles (in the organized group of persons), exposed actions pertaining to the fulfillment of the persons of their official duties, they are erroneous, because, as it was correctly mentioned in the verdict, Khodorkovsky M.B. is imputed with the redistribution of the roles among the members of the organized group, distribution of the stolen property and its legalizing, which cannot be a part of official duties. Lebedev P.L. is imputed, in particular, with organizing of financial operations with monetary assets acquires by illegal means, and that was also not a part of his official duties”.


The Court also did not forget about “the political motivation of the persecution” and indicated that “the other arguments made in the supervisory complaint, including statements about the political motivation of the criminal persecution of the accused and violation of the right to have a defense, as well as about the biased attitude of the Presiding Judge, repeat the arguments of the defense side, which previously had been reviewed by the Cassation Court, also in the exercise of supervision, and had been not corroborated. Such an assessment is based on the materials of the case, and it is regarded as rightful, as well as the appraisal, which was made by the president of the Moscow City Court to the repost of the Russian President’s Council on development of civil society and human rights”, indicated the Judge of the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation.

“By this, Alexander Voronov reminded of the position of the Moscow City Court, that, as early as in February 2012, indicated that that the report of the Presidential Council on Human Rights on Yukos case had had no procedural meaning at all.  “The conclusion of some scientific figures, on the basis of which this report has been made, are, in fact, attitudes of private persons expressed in arbitrary form beyond the framework of the procedure set up by the law”, stated the Moscow City Court in its response to the “expert conclusion”, the publication of which had been prepared with excessive pathos, hoping that no one would go into details of this miracle report. But, as it often happens in this milieu, they were wrong”, notes the website Prigovor.ru.

(See also the previous article “On this day, the case of the swindler Khodorkovsky was handed over to court”. The criminal case against Khodorkovsky was comprised of 227 volumes. The sum of the damage is valued at more than $1 billion. The website Prigovor.ru reminds its readers of what happened on May 14, 2004).

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