On this day, on behalf of the ECtHR, they justified Khodorkovsky's crimes

On this day, on behalf of the ECtHR, they justified Khodorkovsky's crimes

Report-misapprehension. “Disinterested” experts. “Household actions” pertaining to money legalization. The website Prigovor.ru reminds its readers of what happened on December 21, 2011.

On this day 10 years ago, on December 21, 2011, the working group attached to the president’s "Council for development of society and human rights" came out in support of tax criminals from the oil company Yukos. Against the backdrop of the two verdicts with regards to Platon Lebedev and Mikhail Khodorkovsky, delivered in 2005 and 2010, a non-indifferent part of the society, having connected to the case foreign experts and avoiding sharp edges of the criminal activity of the “main shareholders, passed its own “expert verdict” upon the second case.


A four-page document was published on the website of the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) and was sent to the president of Russia Dmitry Medvedev with “the recommendations relating to the revision of the case” and “setting aside of the verdict”. As reported, experts of the working group came to the conclusion that “all household actions had lawful foundations and are quite legal”. To put it simply, experts of the ECtHR sat, thought a bit, and decided that they better qualify essential elements of economic offenses that the investigation and all the levels of court taken together.

In such discussions around the law enforcement practice, there is nothing reprehensible or criminal – this is just the dialogue between society, legislators and those, who imply laws in practice. It’s not for nothing that they say – many lawyers, many attitudes. And this is a normal, rather difficult work on creating and perfecting the legislative foundation of the country.

But as to "the expertise of the Yukos case" everything at once went wrong, crisscross. In the press, subordinated to Yukos, they started a banal propaganda operation on the basis of this report. Headlines appeared like “President’s Council acquitted Khodorkovsky”, where key emphases were made by Tamara Morschakova, an experienced lawyer, who spoke in the sense that “Khodorkovsky and Lebedev are the owners of Yukos and in such a case they "actually had been accused of stolen assets from themselves". Thereat, Morschakova completely ignored the existence of thousands of shareholders of the oils company, which, in fact, had been robbed by the top managers and the main shareholders Khodorkovsky, Nevzlin, Lebedev, and others.

Moreover, in all seriousness, it was suggested to the society that “the experts didn’t see a difference between the first and the second accusations of Khodorkovsky and Lebedev”. It was read like “the experts consider all articles of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation equal, and so it must be.


They reckoned that only a few people would enter into details of hundreds of pages and juxtapose materials of the report, as well as episodes from the verdicts of the two criminal cases. The long and the short of it, all this “expert approach” resembled juggles with rewriting the history. Although claims to the experts themselves could be only of a debatable character. Apart from that, they unlikely realized in full measure that their attitudes were used to discredit the investigation and courts. And with this astonishing document, "the civil society" started to rattle at every corner threatening on the basis of it to demand the release of Khodorkovsky. Without hesitation, they sent this demand, stands to reason, on behalf of the ECtHR, to the Office of the Prosecutor General and to the Investigative Committee of Russia. They said, like, “new circumstances were discovered” which means the Khodorkovsky is not guilty – we see it like this.


However, the most cautious member of the “Human rights council” rushed to ensure and cover themselves with the help of Dmitry Medvedev. "We, the "Human rights council" under the president, we receive recommendations for the president, but only he can direct them to corresponding agencies. But, to my mind, conclusions of experts and recommendations of the Council are enough for quashing the verdict of this case”, said Igor Yurgens, a member of this Council.

Generally, such a position of Igor Yurgens, perhaps, was known to everybody. For instance, in 2003, when the prosecution just put Khodorkovsky under arrest, Mr. Yurgens exposed to the world his conclusions even before the beginning of the proceedings. "First, by the arrest of Khodorkovsky, the law was broken, and, second, the connection between power, business, and society was interrupted. And it looks more like property redistribution as like those arguments which bring forward law enforcement agencies”. Apart from that, Yurgens also warned of forthcoming economic chaos”, so cited him the newspaper “Nezavisimaya Gazeta”. Then there were mutual transactions with Tamara Morschakova about how we should liberally rearrange the Criminal Code, then emerged the miraculous “expert report of the ECtHR” with which he agreed. After that – from 2013 to 2016 - Yurgens was to be found in “Oxford Russia Fund”, a regular affiliate of the tax dodger Khodorkovsky that in summer 2021 was recognized in Russia as an undesirable organization. And it’s not important what he was doing there – it was written that he was the president of it. It’s not important whether he received there "a scholarship from Khodorkovsky" or simply waited for the promised by him in 2003 "economic crisis". Important is to understand processes with the participation of certain persons who were not itemized among experts of the case but strolled in the Kremlin.


The Investigative Committee of Russia was surprised by such unusual approach – two criminal cases upon different Articles and different circumstances, but “the experts didn’t see the difference” between accusations of tax crimes (the first case) and accusations of legalizing (laundering) money (second case). Serious suspicions appeared that some agitators did that not completely disinterested. As the newspaper “Kommersant” pointed out, “the investigation and the supervision paid attention to the fact that public organizations of members of the president’s Council and experts, engaged by them, figured themselves in the criminal case No18/41-03 as money receivers from Mikhail Khodorkovsky”, and, moreover, the sums “of feeding” became known.


It was found out that those who took money from Khodorkovsky “for projects” were not members of the working group to prepare the report, although they stood somewhere near. Foreign experts suddenly “started to fear criminal prosecution” and clearly didn’t intend to answer questions of investigators, proving the circumstances of the emergence of such a strange report. One of the experts, Sergey Guriyev, found a reason for himself to be afraid and noisily “fled” to France. The task was clear – to organize a regular scandal. But their efforts were to no avail – the inspection of the version on “the expert case” came to the conclusion that the money from the offshore company “The Corbiere Trust” had been transferred to Russia for somewhat different purposes. Although no criminal matter was found, from the point of view of the Criminal Code, it was interesting for the public to observe how some inventive souls, having blown the report to the dimensions of the globe, started themselves to blow it off, and then quite forgot about it, as about certain misapprehension”, notes the website Prigovor.ru.

(See also the previous article “On this day, Khodorkovsky went at large and started to lie”. "I am not going to be engaged in politics, and about this, I told in the letter to President Putin and confirmed it several times". The website Prigovor.ru reminds its readers of what happened on December 20, 2013.

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