A court confirmed legality of the arrest of Yukos shareholders’ accounts in the bank Credit Agricole. The website Prigovor.ru reminds its readers of what happened on June 9, 2004.
On this day 18 years ago, on June 9, 2004, the Moscow City Court confirmed the legality of the decision on the arrest of accounts belonging to Mikhail Khodorkovsky and to some other shareholders of the oil company NK Yukos in the Swiss bank Credit Agricole, and thus dismissed the motion of lawyers on lifting the arrest.
Suspicious money to the whole sum of about 6.2 billion Swiss francs (around $5 billion) was arrested with a court’s warrant as early as in March 2004. The accounts were arrested in the following banks: Bank Indosuez (Geneva), Dresdner Bank (Switzerland) SA (Geneva), CBG Companie Bancaire Geneve (Geneva), UBS AG (Zurich). Under arrest was also money in the Swiss bank Credit Agricole. A list of two dozens Russian citizens was attached to the case, with the leadership of the oil giant among them – Mikhail Khodorkovsky, Leonid Nevzlin, Mikhail Brudno, Platon Lebedev, as well as additional dozen of various names of senior executives. It was pointed out that under arrest were not accounts of companies or firms, but specifically accounts “of physical persons somehow or other involved in embezzlement of state assets on an especially large scale”.
A LETTER CONCERNING ASTRONOMIC SUMS
It’s worth accentuating that all investigative actions with the arrest of the accounts were conducted within the framework of the law, according to international procedures, on the basis of agreements on mutual legal help between the countries. The Prosecutor’s Office of Switzerland explicitly informed the Russian investigative group which steps it could undertake within the framework of legal support, and what argument the Russian side would be needed to follow all procedures.
The Swiss part, for instance, explained what should be done in order to prolong the arrest of the accounts for more than five days, which was envisaged by local laws. This, in particular, became clear from the document from March 2004, which was at the disposal of the Swiss journal “L’Hebdo” published in French language.
The published extracts of the letter of the Swiss Prosecutor’s Office, sent to the Russian authorities in connection with astronomic sums that were “frozen” in the Swiss banks, considerably infuriated Leonid Nevzlin, an ordering customer of serial murders and attempted murders.
(See the article “On this day, “Menatep” belied the Office of the Prosecutor General of Switzerland”).
Anyway, lawyers of the con artists from Yukos were also on alert, trying to free the money from “captivity and filing protests both in Russia and in Switzerland. However, the Supreme Court of Switzerland rejected the complaints of three unnamed companies on unfreezing the bank accounts, belonging to shareholders of the OJSC Yukos. Other complaints the lawyers managed to press through – the Swiss court sustained “at least, part of the claims, filed against the decision to block the accounts”, informed the lawyers.
KHODORKOVSKY TRIED TO CHEAT THE COURT
An effort to lift the arrest of the accounts in the Swiss bank Credit Agricole, made by the defense as early as on June 9, 2004, exposed an curios thing – Khodorkovsky’s lie. Apart from Platon Lebedev, Leonid Nevzlin and Vladimir Dubov, on the list of the frozen was also itemized Mikhail Khodorkovsky. He assured the Moscow City Court that he had “no accounts neither in Switzerland, not in any other countries”.
(See the article “On this day, Mikhail Khodorkovsky insolently lied to the Moscow City Court”).
Parallel to these statements, the Moscow City Court was considering a complaint of the lawyers demanding to lift the arrest from “non-existing” accounts of the swindler Khodorkovsky. It’s not surprising at all that Khodorkovsky, from the one hand, denied the existence of foreign accounts, and, from the other hand, tried to scratch out money from these accounts.
“Greed played another nasty trick with the robber-baron – he was caught in trying to cheat the court, and that later influenced the confidence of the judges in his testimony on all episodes of his criminal activity”, notes the website Prigovor.ru.
(See also the previous article “On this day, a court in the United States found out about kleptocrats and bribes of Yukos”. The amount of a bribe reached $2 billion. “For the purpose of bribery, Khodorkovsky concluded a verbal agreement with state officials”… The website Prigovor.ru reminds its readers of what happened on June 8, 2016).
*On May 20, 2022, the Russian Ministry of Justice, included M.B. Khodorkovsky in the list of physical persons executing functions of a foreign agent.