On this day, Yukos lawyers were dealing with a “brazen lie”

On this day, Yukos lawyers were dealing with a “brazen lie”

Fictitious payments of the CJSC “Volna”. “Conscientious” tricksters from the Isle of Man. Lawyers were eloquently searching for “shortfalls of oil deliveries”. The website Prigovor.ru reminds its readers of what happened on April 5, 2005 and 2010.

On this day, on April 5, 2005, in the Meschansky District Court of Moscow, in the course the oral arguments, lawyers of Platon Lebedev, the head of the International Finance Association MFO “Menatep”, during eight hours, were trying to convince the court that the charges filed against their client, were “brazen lie”. Yet the lawyers’ witticism made impression only on the press. Bright assertions, dexterous rhetorical devices and an experience in whimsical interpretation of the materials of the case – all this is a dream for journalists making a report from a courtroom where a case is being considered on dull “economic” Articles of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation, in which financial expertise and documents, agreements, slips, meeting records, heaps of reports with numbers, with no time to go deep into. And at that moment, orators emerge on the stage and say: everything that has been gathered during the investigation is a “brazen lie”. Thus, a report with the rebuttal of charges is ready.

(See also the article “On this day, 200 volumes of the criminal case were presented to Khodorkovsky”).

In fact, the lawyers spent five hours traying to narrate that Platon Lebedev had nothing at all to do with the episode of the prosecution connected with the grabbing of 20% of the shares of the JSC “Apatit”, and that the CJSC “Volna” had completely reimbursed the value of the shares of “Apatit” in 1994, when the investment tender had been carried out.

“The circumstance that the CJSC “Volna”, actually, didn’t transfer to “Apatit” the necessary monetary means in accordance with the investment program, has no relation to Mr. Lebedev’s activities”, narrated Timofey Gridnev, while “crashing” the episode with the CJSC “Volna”, despite the totality of gathered proofs and evidence of criminal schemes of Lebedev and Khodorkovsky.

(See also the article “Lebedev’s formula”. Platon Lebedev is accused of committing crimes under Article 159, paragraph 4 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation, Article 33, paragraph 3 of the Criminal code of the Russian Federation, Article 315, subparagraph “a”, Article 165, paragraph 3 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation, Article 160, paragraph 4 of the Criminal code of the Russian Federation, Article 33, paragraph 3, subparagraphs “a”, “b”, Article 199, paragraph 2 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation, Article 159, paragraph 4, od the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation, Article 198, paragraph 2, of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation”).

From the materials of the case: “Payments were fictitious”

“On August 16, 1995, in Moscow, Lebedev, Khodorkovsky and other members of the organized group, through their representatives, turned over to the Arbitration Court of Moscow payment orders No20 from August 10, 1995, to the amount of 250 pre-revaluation rubles and No 22 from August 11, 1995 to the amount of 229 244 382 762 pre-revaluated rubles pertaining to the transfer of the mentioned sums of money from a special account of the CJSC “Volna” in the bank “Menatep” to a current account of the JSC “Apatit” in the same bank in compensation of investments. However, the mentioned payments were fictitious, as on the same day they were brought back to the mentioned special account of the CJSC “Volna”.


The second Lebedev’s lawyer Konstantin Rivkin characterized as a “brazen lie” assertions of the prosecution that Lebedev had been art and part in the activities of the oil trading companies, that had traded Yukos oil and had been registered in the Closed Administrative-Territorial Unit (ZATO) in the town Lesnoy, Sverdlovsk region. To avoid excessive questions from the distinguished audience, the defense council, having dug out a certain inaccuracy in the sums, cut jokes at the address of mathematicians with military shoulder stars, thus hinting at the Russian mathematician and geometer of the XIX century Lobachevsky.

Yet for the Court all these funny oral exercises were not interesting – it looked at the materials of the case and evaluated the evidence base. And this base pointed out directly – “the CJSC “Yukos-RM”, being a company under control of Khodorkovsky M.B. and Lebedev P.L., took part in determining the character of activities of the JSC “Mitra”, JSC “Forest Oil”, JSC “Vald-Oil”, and JSC “Business Oil”. And then, having studied the documents about activities of these firms, documents signed by Lebedev, who, according to the defense version, had “nothing to do with the activities of oil-trading companies”, “the Court has come to the conclusion that the purpose of these companies was not the fulfilment of the statuary activities, but in creating an opportunity for the defendants to receive additional profit by way of an illegal use of the tax and levies preferences on the territory of the Closed Administrative-Territorial Unit”.


Another useless topic during the oral arguments became the efforts to derail accusations connected with the non-payment of taxes by the defendants and billionaires from Yukos as physical persons. The same Konstantin Rivkin tried to prove the “conscientiousness” of Yukos tax swindlers arguing that, for instance, Lebedev was a good banker, as if somebody had accused him of being a bad banker.

(See also the article “Tax mechanics of Khodorkovsky as a physical person”).

The problem for Lebedev and Khodorkovsky with regard to the episode of the taxes of physical persons consisted of two parts. First, a categorical refusal of the defendants to bring to court at least one real client, who had received “consultations” from them. Second, the guilty verdict of the Meschansky District Court of Moscow of 2004, on a similar episode connected with Vasily Shakhnovsky.

(See also the article “On this day, the tax dodger Shakhnovsky was made to get into gears” and the article “On this day, Vassily Shakhnovsky recalled taxes”).

The offshore scheme of tax evasion through the offshore firm “Status Service Limited (Isle of Man) was from the outset fraught with a criminal case for all the billionaires from among the ‘main shareholders” of the most “transparent” company – they all had been sitting on “consultations”, but they either “didn’t remember” their clients, or categorically refused to name them. The final of the case is known – “Khodorkovsky and Lebedev”, who “were not implicated in anything”, were adjudged guilty and were sent to correctional institutions – to serve their sentences. Loud statements and sharp rhetorical devices of the lawyers, apparently turned out to be not that much a successful line of defense. In any case, that didn’t make an impression on the court.


And five years later, on April 5, 2010, in the Khamovnichesky District Court of Moscow a whole brigade of lawyers started “to prove the innocence” of Khodorkovsky and Lebedev on the second criminal case. The lawyers, having decided that they are at a street meeting, compared state prosecutors “with an organized group of executants of a political order” (even the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) could not establish a “political order”.

“Nobody from the witnesses, interrogated during that time, said any shortfall had been found somewhere. No such proofs were presented to us at all”, said Yelena Liptser, a lawyer of Platon Lebedev.

“And on the same day it became clear that all accusations would be easily proven by the Court. Even more so, as nobody accused Lebedev and Khodorkovsky of “oil shortfall”. On the contrary, it is pointed out in the materials of the case that a juridical method of embezzlement by way of juridical redrawing of products will never show any “windfall” – all of it, de-jure stolen, will be de-facto present”, notes the website Prigovor.ru.

(See also the previous article “On this day, the criminal case of Kurtsin's laundry went to court”. “They stole monetary means of the Oil Company “Yukos” to the amount of 74 million rubles”. A brigade of cash out masters left a lot of traces in the bank “Neftyanoy”. The website prigovor.ru reminds its readers of what happened on April 4, 2007).

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