rediff.com

NewsApp (Free)

Read news as it happens
Download NewsApp

Available on  

Rediff News  All News 
Rediff.com  » Business » Images: The conviction of an oil billionaire

Images: The conviction of an oil billionaire

Last updated on: December 28, 2010 14:50 IST

The conviction of an oil billionaire

     Next

Next

The United States has slammed Russia over conviction of jailed tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky and his associate, saying "selective application" of the law to them will have a "negative impact" on Moscow's reputation.

"This and similar cases have a negative impact on Russia's reputation for fulfilling its international human rights obligations and improving its investment climate," the Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said on Monday.

Clinton said the verdict "raises serious questions about selective prosecution -- and about the rule of law being overshadowed by political considerations."

Click NEXT to read on . . . 


Image: Jailed Russian former oil tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky smiles as he stands in the defendants' cage before the start of a court session in Moscow.
Photographs: Denis Sinyakov/Reuters
     Next

The conviction of an oil billionaire

Prev     Next
Prev

Next

Khodorkovsky and co-accused Platon Lebedev, already in prison on previous fraud charges, were convicted on embezzlement and money laundering charges that the head of the now-defunct Yukos oil giant insists were politically motivated by his support for Russia's opposition.

On Monday, a Russian court found jailed tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky and his associate guilty of embezzling and laundering a whopping $23.5 billion, a sentencing that has upset Western rights campaigners.

Khodorkovsky and Platon Lebedev, a co-accused, were convicted of embezzlement and money laundering, said judge Viktor Danilkin.

Police officers detain a protester during a rally to support jailed Russian former oil tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky in front of the court building in Moscow.

The verdict came less than two weeks after Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said Khodorkovsky was a proven criminal who should sit in prison.

The blunt statement reflected his stance against the man who challenged his power. His remarks were denounced by critics as interference in the trial.

Click NEXT to read on . . . 


Image: People attend a rally in support of jailed Russian former oil tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky.
Photographs: Denis Sinyakov/Reuters
Prev     Next

The conviction of an oil billionaire

Prev     Next
Prev

Next

The sentencing dashed the hopes of Russian liberals that the trial would show a new approach from Russian courts.

The duo was charged with embezzling 218 million tonnes of oil from Khodorkovsky's Yukos oil giant between 1998 and 2003 and laundering $16 billion. They received $7.5 billion from the oil.

Click NEXT to read on . . . 


Image: Marina Khodorkovskaya, mother of jailed Russian former oil tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky, stands in the courtroom before the start of a court session in Moscow.
Photographs: Denis Sinyakov/Reuters
Prev     Next

The conviction of an oil billionaire

Prev     Next
Prev

Next

"This is an unjust verdict by a court that is not free," Khodorkovsky's lead lawyer Vadim Klyuvgant told reporters.

"It is shameful for the country. We will appeal the verdict."

Click NEXT to read on . . . 


Image: A man holds a portrait of Khodorkovsky and his partner Platon Lebedev.
Photographs: Denis Sinyakov/Reuters
Prev     Next

The conviction of an oil billionaire

Prev     Next
Prev

Next

Only a handful of journalists were allowed into the courtroom for the verdict. The judge then asked even those journalists to leave as the rest of the verdict was read out.

The court has established that M Khodorkovsky and P Lebedev committed embezzlement acting in collusion with a group of people and using their professional positions, said the judge.

Click NEXT to read on . . . 


Image: Mikhail Khodorkovsky and his business partner Platon Lebedev in the defendants' cage.
Photographs: Denis Sinyakov/Reuters
Prev     Next

The conviction of an oil billionaire

Prev     Next
Prev

Next

Both reacted impassively to the judgement in the glass-fronted defendants' cage in the packed courtroom.

Hundreds of supporters gathered outside the court shouted "Russia without Putin" and "down with the police state."

Click NEXT to read on . . . 


Image: A man holds a portrait of Khodorkovsky and his partner Platon Lebedev.
Photographs: Denis Sinyakov/Reuters
Prev     Next

The conviction of an oil billionaire

Prev     Next
Prev

Next

Klyuvgant said it was not clear when the final sentence would be delivered but said it was unlikely to be pronounced on Monday.

Khodorkovsky, 47, was once the country's richest man, now its most prominent prisoner, is already serving an eight-year sentence for fraud on charges his supporters insist were trumped up by the authorities.

Click NEXT to read on . . . 


Image: A woman visits an exhibition called 'To execute, not to pardon', dedicated to Khodorkovsky.
Photographs: Denis Sinyakov/Reuters
Prev     Next

The conviction of an oil billionaire

Prev     Next
Prev

Next

But with his release scheduled for 2011, Khodorkovsky was put on trial last year on charges of money laundering and embezzlement that could see the head of the now-defunct Yukos oil giant stay in jail until 2017.

"We are troubled by the allegations of serious due process violations, and what appears to be an abusive use of the legal system for improper ends," the White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said in a statement.

Click NEXT to read on . . . 


Image: People hold portraits of Mikhail Khodorkovsky during a rally in support of Khodorkovsky.
Photographs: Denis Sinyakov/Reuters
Prev     Next

The conviction of an oil billionaire

Prev     Next
Prev

Next

"The apparent selective application of the law to these individuals undermines Russia's reputation as a country committed to deepening the rule of law," he said.

Gibbs said the Obama administration stands in solidarity with the many people in the Russian government, in the legal system, and in civil society who are committed to strengthening the rule of law and deepening the commitment to universal values enshrined in the Russian constitution.

Click NEXT to read on . . . 


Image: A woman holds a portrait of jailed Russian former oil tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky during a rally.
Photographs: Denis Sinyakov/Reuters
Prev     Next

The conviction of an oil billionaire

Prev     Next
Prev

Next

"Russia's failure to keep this commitment to universal values, including the rule of law, impedes its own modernisation and ability to deepen its ties with the United States," he said.

"President Obama has spoken frequently with President Medvedev about this case and others as part of their ongoing conversation about President Medvedev's important campaign to strengthen the rule of law and modernize Russia's political and economic system," he said.

"We will continue to monitor closely the next stages in this case, including the fairness of the sentences and the review by higher courts during the appeals process," Gibbs said.

Click NEXT to read on . . . 


Image: Khodorkovsky (2nd R) arrives for a court session in Moscow.
Photographs: Denis Sinyakov/Reuters
Prev     Next

The conviction of an oil billionaire

Prev     More
Prev

More

Image: Marina (2nd L) and Boris Khodorkovsky (C), parents of jailed Russian former oil tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky, and Mariya Lebedev (L), wife of Khodorkovsky's business partner Platon Lebedev and his son Mikhail Lebedev listen to the verdict in Moscow.

Photograph: Denis Sinyakov/Reuters



Prev     More
© Copyright 2013 PTI. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PTI content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent.