“The guilt of Khodorkovsky M.B. and Lebedev P.L. of committing crimes is corroborated by evidence…” The website Prigovor.ru reminds its readers of what happened on April 23, 2009.
On this day 13 years ago, on April 23, 2009, in the Khamovnichesky District Court of Moscow, in accordance with the usual procedure, the state prosecution started to exhibit evidence on the second criminal case against two billionaires – the former head of the Oil Company Yukos Mikhail Khodorkovsky and the former head of the International Financial Association MFO “Menatep” Platon Lebedev.
The essence of the second case – embezzlement and laundering. The second criminal case against Mikhail Khodorkovsky and Platon Lebedev was filed in 2005, on the basis of the materials collected in the course of the preliminary investigation within the framework of the criminal case No 1-23/10 (“the big case” of Yukos). In February 2007, the Office of the Prosecutor General of Russia, upon completing of the investigation, officially brought a charge against Mikhail Khodorkovsky and Platon Lebedev, confirming that they were accused of embezzlement of oil and money laundering. The accusation was brought under Article 160, paragraph 3, of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation (Misappropriation or Embezzlement), Article 174-1, paragraph 3, of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation (Legalization (Laundering) of Monetary Funds or Other Property). The charges were related to two big episodes of the criminal activities of Khodorkovsky’s organized criminal group (OPG).
EPISODE 1. EMBEZZLEMENT OF SHARES OF THE “VOSTOCHNAYA OIL COMPANY Oil ” VNK
Mikhail Khodorkovsky and Platon Lebedev were accused of embezzlement by appropriating shares of subsidiaries of OAO Vostochnaya Oil Company (VNK) in 1998 in the amount of 3.6 billion rubles, and of legalizing stolen shares of subsidiaries of OAO Vostochnaya Oil Company in 1998-2000 for the same amount.
EPISODE 2. MISAPPROPRIATION AND LAUNDERING
Mikhail Khodorkovsky and Platon Lebedev were accused of embezzlement by way of misappropriation of the oil belonging to the affiliates of the JSC Oil Company Yukos, the oil belonging to the JSC “Samaraneftegaz”, JSC “Yuganskneftegaz”, and JSC “Tomskneft” to the amount exceeding 892.4 billion rubles, and of legalizing these means in 1998-2004, to the amount of 487.4 billion rubles, and 7.5 billion rubles.
In connection with the massive size of the evidential base, consisting of financial and operational documents, business correspondence, bank statements, references, contracts, protocols and other materials necessary in economic criminal cases, the whole extent of the case on the preliminary stage consisted of 188 volumes.
(See also the article “On this day, a prison sentence was announced to Khodorkovsky for embezzlement and money laundering”).
The order of examining of evidence presumed consideration of written documents, collected by the investigation, then interrogation of witnesses, and, if necessary for a complete understanding of the essence of presented materials, interrogation of witnesses was presupposed also during examining of documents.
FIRST EMBEZZLEMENT, THEN LEGALIZATION OF THE STOLEN MEANS
The defendant Platon Lebedev started to teach the court and the investigation how to handle matters. Obviously, at the behest of his lawyers, he expressed his discontent that the accusations of embezzlement and of laundering of illegally gained means were united in one case and were considered in one proceeding. Lebedev, once more at the behest of the defense, in fact, pulled inside out the order of the accusation, obviously, in order to say at least anything. The defendant argued that “it’s impossible to raise the question of legalizing some means until the verdict is not passed, confirming that these means were received illegally”. Although in the accusation it was clearly pointed out that, first, they had embezzled, and then legalized the illegally obtained. And it’s in that order that proceeded the inspection of the materials of the case and the proving of the guilt of the “borehole” barons.
THE LAWYERS “DEFENDED” THE OBVIOUS
In the fact that Lebedev, for some reason or other, decided to pull inside out, is visible a merit of the defense. Their clients were accused of “a shortfall of oil” about which nothing was said in the itemized actions imputed to Lebedev and Khodarkovaky, but that outraged the lawyers. And this time also the lawyer Yelena Lipzer tried to clear up “Lebedev’ position”
“We do not exclude that the representatives of the prosecution will present evidence by mixing all – misappropriation of stocks, embezzlement of oil, legalizing of both. Platon Leonidovich said, if everything was put in one and the same court, one should consider first the episodes under Article 160 (Embezzlement). And it there will be grounds, then pass to the consideration of legalization”, explained the layer. It even can be said that the lawyers “defended” such an order of the proceedings, all the more so, as the prosecution clearly was not going to present all materials “inside out”.
From the materials of the Khamovnichesky District Court of Moscow on the case of Khodorkovsky M.B. and Lebedev P.L.:
“The guilt of Khodorkovsky M.B. and Lebedev P.L. of committing crimes under Article 160, paragraph 3, subparagraphs “a, b” of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation, and Article 174.1, paragraph 3, of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation, is corroborated by proofs presented and examined during the court’s proceedings.
Pertaining to the fact of the committing by Khodorkovsky M.B. and Lebedev P.L. embezzlement of oil by way of misappropriation, as part of a criminal group, in the period of 1998-2003, their guilt is corroborated by the information that the defendants were taking an active part in creating the vertically integrated structure of the JSC Oil Company Yukos, imposing control of the activities of the company and of the distribution of its capital”.
“And one of the documents which was inspected in court, was the Resolution of the Government of the Russian Federation No 354 from 15.04.1993 signed by Viktor Chernomyrdin – the document on the creation by the state of the Oil Company Yukos. I.e., the position of Lebedev on the logic the prosecution was observed – they started to prove the crimes of the swindlers from Yukos with the creation of the Oil Company Yukos, that Khodorkovsky and Lebedev first plundered and then laundered criminal incomes”, noted the website Prigovor.ru.
(See also the previous article “On this day, operatives searched for traces of “borehole liquid”. “Taxes were paid in the amount equal to 35-50% of their real volume”. Thievish common fund of Khodorkovsky. The website Prigovor.ru reminds its readers of what happened on April 22, 2004).